Martin Kidston

(Missoula Current) Turning Silver Park into an “art park” won the support of the Missoula City Council this week, and it also has backing from the public, according to a survey.

David Selvage, associate director of park services and systems for the city, said the agreement approved in committee establishes a partnership with Arts Missoula to place art in portions of the park, creating something of an art walk.

“This art would be private art on display in a public site. It would be for sale,” he said. “The agreement provides for an initial placement of up to 10 sculptures in Silver Park.”

That number could be expanded in time, he added.

The agreement also establishes a method of review for the art, which will be privately funded at no cost to the city. The agreement allows for public review and input “on all sculptural pieces to be placed in the park.”

Proposed placement of the sculptures in Silver Park.
Proposed placement of the sculptures in Silver Park.

A public opinion survey conducted by Parks and Recreation found that 282 respondents expressed interest for the project. Another 77 were “somewhat interested” while 34 were “not interested” in the project.

As proposed, the art would be placed along the park's network of trails. Silver Park was selected for the project due to its trail system, along with the availability of shelters and a restroom.

“It's anticipated that the addition of sculptures will help further activate and support appropriate uses of the park,” Selvage said. “The agreement would be administered by Parks and Recreation under guidance from the Public Arts Committee.”