For more information regarding the City of Coeur d'Alene Arts Commission and the public art program, please call Sherrie Badertscher, Arts Commission staff support, at (208) 666-5754 or email [email protected]




The Coeur d'Alene Arts Commission was established by the Coeur d'Alene City Council for the purposes of improving the cultural environment of the City of Coeur d'Alene, enhancing the growth of industry and commerce, and partnering with various artistic organizations to ensure the role of arts in the community. The Arts Commission, under the direction of the Coeur d'Alene City Council,  oversees the public art program, develops policies and goals for selection, placement and maintenance of works of art, integrates a wide range of public art into the community to reflect diversity of communities, artistic disciplines, and points of view, and oversees memorials for public parks and donations of artwork to the public collection.
Coeur d'Alene was the first city in Idaho to provide for a funding mechanism for public art (June 1, 1999). 1.33% of the total cost of all eligible above ground capital improvement projects are now dedicated to fund art in public places. To view the City of Coeur d'Alene Arts Ordinance, please click here.
No. The capital funding designated for Public Art must be used for public art projects. Capital funds cannot be used to pay for city operating costs, or to hire more city workers, such as librarians, police, or firefighters.
The Administration Department, under the direction of Troy Tymesen, City Administrator and current Arts Commission Liaison, oversees the Coeur d'Alene Arts Commission and public art program. (208) 666-5754.
An open artist call or request for qualifications is the most common method of selecting artists. Through open calls, artists are made aware of the opportunity to apply for specific public art projects. This ensures the broadest possible access to the city's public art opportunities. For each new public art project, artists are recommended by a panel that includes artists, arts professionals, city staff, and representatives of the community. If you would like to be added to our artist database and receive future mailings from the Coeur d'Alene Arts Commission, please click here.
The panel screens applicants for the quality of their past work, their suitability for the project being developed and evidence of their ability to work well with the community and other design professionals. Selection panels can recommend an artist or team for public art projects after reviewing the talent pool, or they can develop a short-list of finalists to present project design concepts. The panel then reviews the initial concepts and interviews the artists before making a final recommendation for the project.
The panel's recommendation must be reviewed by the Coeur d'Alene Arts Commission, and approved by the Mayor and City Council before the artist(s) can be placed under contract and begin work on the project.
Artists work directly with city residents and other stakeholders to create projects that contribute to Coeur d'Alene's unique sense of place. Community open houses are held wherever projects are being developed, so that residents can share their values, thoughts and insights with artists.  Citizens are always welcome to attend the Arts Commission meetings, which are held the 4th Tuesday of each month, at 4:00 p.m., in Conference Room #6 at City Hall, or send an email to Amy Ferguson, Arts Commission staff support, at [email protected].
The City of Coeur d'Alene adopted an Arts Master Plan, which provides direction and identifies key opportunities for artwork that provide the best public benefit. Projects are sometimes concentrated in specific areas of the city where multiple capital improvement projects are underway.
Public art programs in other U.S. cities also provide opportunities for both in-state and out-of-state artists. This helps to create diversity in the public art collection.
Nationwide, the best public art often sparks controversy. Many artworks that are initially met with mixed public reaction eventually become accepted as part of the cultural fabric of the community. Historically, it's been discovered that for every resident who dislikes a piece of art, there is another who is favorably disposed to it. Public art is about community engagement and dialogue.  Citizens are always welcome to attend the monthly Arts Commission meetings, which are held on the 4th Tuesday of each month, at 4:00 p.m., in Conference Room #6, City Hall, 710 E. Mullan Avenue, or speak to their concerns at a City Council meeting, which are held on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of each month, at 6:00 p.m., in the Library Community Room, 702 Front Avenue, or you can send an email to Amy Ferguson, Arts Commission staff support, at [email protected].  
Public art can be a change agent for the community. It creates and enhances neighborhood and community identity. It enhances the visual landscape and character of the city. It turns ordinary spaces into community landmarks and promotes community ownership of the city's infrastructure. It promotes community dialogue and, most importantly, it is accessible to everyone. This includes access to the creation process and to the content and meaning of the artwork.
While the city's operating budget is challenged from time to time, new and expanded capital infrastructure is still needed to meet the needs of our growing community. Public art projects are part of the city's Capital Improvement Program. As public amenities are designed and constructed, artwork is integrated to enhance those amenities. This enriches our built environment and creates a more visually interesting city. The public art process also provides opportunities for citizens to have input into the design of shared urban public spaces.
The selection and construction of art projects contributes money into the economy by creating jobs. Although some of these jobs may be temporary, they provide unique employment opportunities for individuals interested in working on art projects and other public works designed through collaborations with engineers, landscape architects and architects. People coming to see major new works of art also contribute money to the economy.
No. Several Idaho cities, including Boise, have public art programs.
No. The U.S. has a proud history of government support of the arts, dating back to the 1800s when Congress began funding the creation of murals, paintings and sculptures for the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. Government arts support expanded in the 1930s, when the Works Progress Administration funded public infrastructure and art programs to create jobs by building a wide range of essential public works during the Great Depression.