TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KLIX) – A local citizens group is seeking public art submissions for a planned archway project that will be installed in the downtown area of Twin Falls.

The Twin Falls Archway Committee, an ad hoc group composed of 13 members, is seeking art ideas in the form of drawings, paintings, sketches or digitally designed images from local residents.

What’s more, you don’t have to be a professional artist to submit ideas – the committee wants ideas from people of all backgrounds, including students.

“There’s tremendous talent in our community,” said Melissa Crane, sales and marketing director for Magic Valley Arts Council. “We’ll be interested to see what rises to the surface.”

Students often come up great ideas because they “think outside the box,” said Twin Falls Councilwoman Ruth Pierce, liaison for the city who was at the informal meeting with local media on Friday.

Melissa Crane, left, and Twin Falls City Councilwoman Ruth Pierce talk about the community's Archway Project at a meeting with local media on Friday afternoon, Jan. 13, at the Twin Falls Council Chambers. (Photo by Andrew Weeks)

Plans are to install the archway on Shoshone Street. It will arch from City Park to County Courthouse property. The archway will include a reader board to inform residents of events and other community information.

Pierce said the archway has been talked about for several months, especially since banners are now restricted for use across Shoshone Street in the downtown proper due to safety reasons. People putting up or taking down a banner several times came close to being hit by a passing vehicle.

The archway will allow advertising of community events, but without the risk to safety. The reader boards will especially be helpful to non-profit groups, Pierce said.

No guidelines have been set for the project – “we want to see what the community comes up with,” Crane said – but the committee doesn’t want the archway to be time-stamped with a year, but rather with a theme or icons that fit the character of the community for a long time to come.

The city plans to use $43,000 from its art reserve funds for the project, but only after additional money has been raised by the committee. Crane said it will accept donations. The final cost of the project has not yet been determined because the artwork hasn’t been chosen.

Have an idea?

Local art professionals and students have been informed of the project, but submissions are open for everyone.

Art submissions must be received no later than Feb. 1 by the Magic Valley Arts Council. They will then be reviewed by the committee, which will present its recommendation to the City Council. The committee’s first review of submissions will take place at a meeting Feb. 3, just two days after the submission deadline.

The committee would like to have the archway completed sometime this year. Pierce said she'd like to see it unveiled at the same time the new City Hall is opened this fall.

“Art is a very important component of our community,” she said, noting that she believes the archway will be a long-standing testament to the talent and community passion that exists in Twin Falls.

“This will be a positive thing for us,” Crane said.

Submit your ideas for the archway project to:

Magic Valley Arts Council
Attn: Twin Falls Conceptual Design
195 River Vista Place, Suite 101
Twin Falls, ID 83301

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Reporter Andrew Weeks may be reached at andrew.weeks@townsquaremedia.com or 737-6025.