With nearly 3 million passengers traveling through the Boise Airport each year, one of Idaho's highest profile art projects, titled "Along the River's Edge," was unveiled Oct. 3 in the ticketing lobby of the airport.
“When I first read the ‘Call to Artists,’ I had this strong sense of standing in the airport and looking up and seeing my work in this huge format—never really believing that it was a possibility—I still had that vision,” said Anne Peterson Klahr, the winner of a national contest commissioned by the Boise City Department of Aviation. “Well, dreams come true and this has been an amazing journey.”
The selection panel consisted of stake holders from the airport, city council, artists in the community and together they picked Klahr’s work for the new mural.
“It fits perfectly. And that is typically an afterthought. The artwork stands on its own, you wouldn’t pick it because it matches the carpet,” said Josh Olson, Cultural Asset Manager at the Boise City of Department of Art and History.
The Boise City Department of Arts and History has invested $3.7 million in public art assets.
“As I travel for work and for city business, I find that many people are surprised that a city of our size will make this type of commitment to art,” said Boise City Council member Lauren McClean. “And I love talking about it. It makes works like this in our airport possible, which also makes our airport unique.”
For Boise Airport Commissioner Paul Cunningham, Klahr's artwork in the airport further solidifies Boise’s identity.
“I think it is all part of branding Boise. We are the city of trees. This [artwork] is a representative of natural environment of Boise,” said Cunningham. “It is a great addition to the airport and the city.”
Artist Belinda Isley was another finalist, and her work, entitled "Are We There Yet?" will also be displayed in the lobby of the Airport. City officials insisted that even though Isley's work came in second place, it was worthy of a place at the airport. Isley's work uses historic photographs, antique ephemera and vintage objects from Boise’s past.
“In this piece, I wanted to honor the people from all walks of life who saw such possibilities in our land. This piece celebrates Idaho and Boise’s 150 anniversary,” said Isley.