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Cd'A seeking votes on Four Corners art piece

by CRAIG NORTHRUP
Staff Writer | December 26, 2020 1:08 AM

Coeur d’Alene residents have until the end of the day Thursday to vote on one of six proposals to represent the new Four Corners art project.

Once chosen, created and installed, the new project will sit at the southwest corner of Northwest Boulevard and Fort Grounds Drive, situated near the Human Rights Education Institute, the Carousel and Memorial Field.

The city, through its Arts Commission, made its call to artists in August, searching for proposals that would reflect Coeur d’Alene’s commitment to human rights. Artists were asked to consider pieces that would provide a welcoming tone to the neighborhood, affirm the city’s commitment to equality and human rights, indiviual dignity, and respect for diversity, among other qualifications.

The city whittled down the submissions to six proposals from five separate artists.

The 12-foot-high “We Have A Dream” sculpture would commemorate civil rights and human rights activists both abroad and here at home, according to artist CherylAnn Metcalf. The bronze piece would honor legendary human rights figures such as Martin Luther King Jr., Anne Frank, Rosa Parks and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, as well as local icons Chief Circling Raven, Dina Tanners, Father Bill Wassmuth, Tony Stewart and Marshall Mend.

“Come As You Are,” a 25-foot-by-25-foot steel piece, would have six larger-than-life figures convening at a gathering spot in what artists Jennifer Corio and Dave Frei describe as a congregation of races, genders and backgrounds into a communal space.

“We use the concept of people coming together as a nod to the Coeur d'Alene Tribe and their history of gathering with other regional tribes in this area, which they sometimes dubbed ‘The Gathering Place,’ Corio wrote in her submission explanation to the city. “It was important for us to convey diversity through these sculptural figures."

“Together” would be a stainless steel sculpture between 3 and 5 feet high, as well as between 10 and 14 feet in diameter. The piece uses humanlike figures in different stages of play.

“I set out to develop a sculpture that accomplishes as many themes as possible without being literal,” artist C.J. Rench wrote.

“Connected,” a 20-to-30-foot-tall stainless steel piece, would reflect the natural beauty of the area by encapsulating the nearby landscape in different color schemes to highlight what Rench called the community’s commitment to social justice.

“‘Connected’ brings all of these elements together to connect people to place and highlights what a beautiful town Coeur d'Alene truly is and strives to be," said Rench, who also proposed "Together."

“The Spirit Of Coeur d’Alene,” a 6-foot-tall bronze statute, would feature an upright woman standing over four children, each engaged in some form of arts or learning.

"I feel that education, the arts and our rich cultural heritage are always the best pathways to our future,” artist Gareth Curtiss said, “and the things we need to instill an appreciation for in our children.”

“The Monument Of Peace And Unity” would be a 24-foot-tall plasma-cut steel tower depicting ascending doves flying over a crowd of onlookers.

"It will be a landmark at a major entry into the city,” sculptor Ai Qiu Hopen wrote. “It will reflect the city’s long-standing commitment to human rights and human dignity."

The project, which has been given a $75,000 total budget, is available for review and a public vote in the news section of the city’s website, www.cdaid.org. The public vote will then be taken into consideration as part of the Arts Commission’s selection committee process. Once approved, the Arts Commission will make its recommendation to City Council. Once finalized, the piece will be created and installed no later than the end of summer.

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"Connected" would depict Coeur d'Alene's natural beauty while utilizing different color schemes to symbolize the city's calls for social justice. (Courtesy city of Coeur d'Alene)

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"Come As You Are" depicts a communal gathering place that the artist said would represent Coeur d'Alene's sense of unity. (Courtesy city of Coeur d'Alene)

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"The Monument Of Peace And Unity" would depict in its 24-foot-tall tower a flock of ascending doves. (Courtesy city of Coeur d'Alene)

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"The Spirit Of Coeur d'Alene" depicts a six-foot-tall woman standing over four children in various stages of learning and artistic expression. (Courtesy city of Coeur d'Alene)

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"Together" captures human-like figures coming together in various forms of play.