Client: City of Boise
Location: Boise, ID, United States
Completion date: 2020
Artwork budget: $500,000
Public Art Program Mgr
Participatory kinetic pink tree swing in Boise, Idaho
Taking its name from the winds that flow into the City of Boise from the mountains and river valley that surround it, GENTLE BREEZE is an image of a “tree” on a hill with three swings hanging from its branches: an image of a quiet pastoral life juxtaposed within the dense urban fabric of Boise’s multi-story cityscape.
As a participatory experience, open for the public to gently swing back and forth in the shade of the canopy, two of the most prominent features of the project are its bright pink color and seven hundred forty-eight (748) leaves. These softly flowing leaves pushed by the winds from the river and hills make the artwork a visible indicator of the natural landscape surrounding the city.
GENTLE BREEZE is an aspirational image located prominently on the corner of Bannock and 11th ave at the Cherie Buckner Webb park in downtown Boise. The twenty-three (23) ft tall tree sits on a slowly sloping 3ft berm creating the striking image of the tree on a hill and is seen from several vantage points throughout the area.
The project was originally born from one-on-one and group conversations with the community in Boise, including a conversation in Matthew Mazzotta’s signature ‘Outdoor Living Room’ - a research method that uses domestic objects composed as a living room in public space as a way of taking the meeting right to the community and hearing directly from them.This technique is used to capture the voices and ideas of people that might not have the time or feel comfortable in more formal meetings. These conversations revealed the central concept of GENTLE BREEZE which mirrors the sentiment enjoyed by many who live in Boise: a city surrounded by nature.
The Swinging benches of GENTLE BREEZE are wide enough for multiple seating configurations with friends and family and have an elegant internal mechanism that slows the swing down from swinging too fast or too far, making for a pleasurable swinging experience in the city that looks out onto the surrounding hills.