After an open call for student artists to redesign the bike lane icons at Friendship Bridge and Bleymaier Football Center, the Department of Public Safety has chosen two winners whose work will be installed later this year. The winners each received a $500 scholarship and their designs will be featured on the road for up to 10 years.
The program, Creative Routes, seeks to combine sustainable transportation and student art. The submissions are managed by the Department of Public Safety and the university art curator.
Denise Hutchins, from Boise, is pursing a bachelor of fine arts degree in illustration and is expected to graduate in December 2021. Her design is inspired by the gaming world and seeks to appeal the diverse group of users on the path.
“When I first saw the proposal, I thought to myself, how awesome would it be to ride your bike over a real-life dash panel from Mario Kart,” she said. “That was the spark that got me working, but the fun, energetic, and friendly look of the design is ultimately meant to bring cheer to the road and smiles to the faces of all those on it, regardless of whether they know what a blue shell is or if they’ve ever argued over who gets to play as Yoshi.”
This is the first public art installation for Hutchins and being selected has buoyed her to continue working at her craft.
“The sense of validation and confidence I have been given is both humbling and motivating,” she said. “I feel as if my work is being recognized as worthy, and that one of the first steps of the long staircase that is my creative career has been surmounted.”
Hutchins is an avid distance runner and she is looking forward to seeing her work displayed on the roadway for years to come. One distance, the marathon, has eluded her so far.
“I think I could get more inspired to train for that 42 kilometers if one of my way points included this installation.”
Emma Ouzounian, from Hood River, Oregon will receive a bachelor of fine arts degree in graphic design this spring. For her design, she wanted to create something simple but that represented Boise State.
“When I have walked on the greenbelt to and from classes I always see many students zipping by in their Boise State colors,” she said. “I felt like my design that leaves a lingering trail of blue and orange gives the essence of what it’s like to see blue and orange-clad students flying by.”
Having her artwork on campus is important to Ouzounian as she transitions away from the university.
“It feels good to know that I’m able to leave a lasting impression on campus even when I am no longer in Boise, and moving on to the next step in my life.”