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Take a Sneak Peak at the Artists Selected to Decorate Rhodes Park

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Where once dozens of people without homes slept, now there will be a parkour course. - BOISE PARKS AND RECREATION
  • Boise Parks and Recreation
  • Where once dozens of people without homes slept, now there will be a parkour course.


Most of the attention paid to Rhodes Park has focused on nearby Cooper Court—a tent city of homeless people that grew up alongside the I-184 overpass after the skate park was closed for construction.

Despite the conflict between the city of Boise and those living in Cooper Court, plans for a revamped Rhodes Park have pressed on.

At the Boise City Parks and Recreation Commission meeting Nov. 19, commissioners got a first glance at the six artists selected to decorate the skate park. The Parks Department has a $200,000 budget for public art at the site between 15th and 16th streets near Front Street. Five of the six artists are local, while one is from Seattle.

The artists put on contract include Trademark Design, known for the signs it made for Treefort Music Fest, as well as several traffic box wraps around the city; Sector Seventeen, which paints murals around town, such as the mural on the construction fencing on the Grove Plaza; Perri Howard, a skate park designer from Seattle; sculptor Stephanie Inman; and mosaic artists Reham Aarti and Anna Webb

The conceptual designs for a new mural from Sector Seventeen strive to integrate people, nature and the environment. - BOISE PARKS AND RECREATION
  • Boise Parks and Recreation
  • The conceptual designs for a new mural from Sector Seventeen strive to integrate people, nature and the environment.
Together and working with the city, they'll design a public art plan on the theme of integrating people, nature and environment. Part of that design may include the decommissioning of the mural already in place under the overpass, painted by Ward Hooper in 2003.

Ward Hooper's 2003 mural near Rhodes Park may or may not last. - BOISE PARKS AND RECREATION
  • Boise Parks and Recreation
  • Ward Hooper's 2003 mural near Rhodes Park may or may not last.
"That was a jaw-dropping moment for me, when we talked about covering up Ward Hooper's mural," said Toby Norton, parks development and landscape architect for the city. "We worked on the design of the skate park with that mural in mind, not wanting to cover it up."

Norton told the commission Hooper is supportive of the idea, but Doug Holloway, the director of Parks and Recreation, said the Boise City Council doesn't support the idea of decommissioning the mural, so it may stay after all. 

The new park may include other public art features such as a fence embedded with skateboard wheels that light up when spun. It might also include large concrete letters that spell out "Rhodes" or "Sixteenth." Boulders may spot the sidewalk and a parkour course will be made up of artistic and colorful shapes.

The aesthetic wish list presented to the commission topped out around $330,000, but with a budget of only $200,000, some design ideas will have to go.

The commission approved of the direction of conceptual designs, and the Boise City Council will take up the issue of whether or not to decommission Hooper's mural in early December.

Some commissioners were especially fond of the fence featuring skateboard wheels that light up when spun. - BOISE PARKS AND RECREATION
  • Boise Parks and Recreation
  • Some commissioners were especially fond of the fence featuring skateboard wheels that light up when spun.