You could walk past "Heliotrope" a dozen times before you realize it's art. The metal sculpture located near the Boise Grove at the intersection of Eighth and Main streets, with its tiny garden of vines just beginning to climb sunward along its frame, blends into its environment of lamp posts, cafe tables, buildings and low shrubs. Eventually, it will be lush with leaves and flowers, but for now, its effect on passersby is passive.
"Heliotrope" was built by Dwaine Carver and is part of Capital City Development Corporation's Public Works-Eco-Art on 8th--a trio of sculptures designed to invoke Boise's close relationship with green spaces and the environment, the first two of which cost Boise taxpayers $42,000.
That's just a fraction of what the city and other agencies spend on public art each year. The city's public art collection is worth just more than $3.75 million, and every year, the Boise City Department of Arts and History receives about $75,000 through the City Percent for Art program, a 1 percent tax on eligible capital expenditures to fund public artworks.
The city and other local groups have spent a combined $500,750 on projects completed in 2013-2014. Here's some of what the City of Trees bought with all that green.