The North Tahoe community has the final vote on which two public art installations will decorate the new Kings Beach roundabouts at Bear and King streets at the Tahoe Public Art community meeting on March 19 at the North Lake Tahoe Event Center. Tahoe Public Art is a new collaboration between North Tahoe Arts, the North Tahoe Business Association, and Tahoe City Downtown Association.
“Public art by nature is a controversial subject that evokes emotion. Controversy is good and is essential,” said Joy Doyle, executive director of the North Lake Tahoe Business Association. “Public art makes people stop in their tracks and interact with it, getting them outside their own reality.”
Tahoe Public Art sent out a nationwide call last November for artists to design pieces for the two traffic circles. Most proposals came from close by — Tahoe, Northern Nevada, and Northern California — though some came from Vermont and Hawaii. With 38 submissions received, a panel of jurors gathered for sessions on Feb. 15 and March 12 to whittle down that number to five finalists.
At the upcoming community meeting, proposals will be displayed anonymously with sketches or mini replicas of each piece and details about the artist. Tahoe Public Art will count the votes right after the meeting, and the winners will be announced on Tahoe Public Art’s Facebook page.
This is the first in a three-phase project manned by Tahoe Public Art. This phase, featuring permanent art, will be followed by additional permanent installations in Tahoe City alongside Fanny Bridge. The third and final phase will be regularly changing public art displayed around the lake. This won’t require funding because the artists do the installation themselves in hopes of selling it.
A $25,000 seed grant from the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association currently supports this initiative. If Tahoe Public Art can raise $125,000, the NLTRA will donate a $125,000 matching grant.
“It’s proven that public art stimulates the economy and it is not weather dependent. That’s why [we] are in favor of bringing public art to North Lake Tahoe — to differentiate our tourism economy,” said Doyle. “Temporary art installations have the ability to positively drive visitation, spending, longer stays, and visits during what we all know as the shoulder seasons.”