Public Art Master Plan in the works for Truckee |

Public Art Master Plan in the works for Truckee

With a growing community of artists in the Truckee community and public art installations becoming more prominent in the area, the town is taking steps to create a plan for how art would be installed, how it would be funded and how private development would play a role.

“I think this is a very exciting time for our town being on the verge of creating a public master plan,” said Truckee Mayor David Tirman.

In June, the town held a public workshop to determine the public opinion on a Public Art Master Plan. The participants revealed a desire to support art organizations and local artists of all types, including permanent and temporary installations as well as live performance spaces. Some also noted that the art should respect the history of the town.

Participants suggested the art should be in highly accessible, high-traffic locations. These could include roundabouts as well as natural artwork at trailheads.

As far as funding the art installations, Council member Morgan Goodwin agreed with a local artist, Sara Smith, who said there should be a “robust and sustainable collection of funding streams.”

“I would suggest that attempting to fund public art explicitly is going to serve the economic development goals we’ve tried to serve in the past as well as art,” Goodwin said.

Council member David Polivy said he’d like to see as many incentives as possible for developers to encourage art installations and combat the costs.

“It’s the materials and the fixtures and the installation costs that are really important here,” he said.

According to Dan Wilkins, Truckee public works director, artwork installed in the area can range around $200,000 like the new artwork installed in the Kings Beach roundabout, to $5,000, the price for the decorative bike racks in downtown.

“It really just isn’t necessarily about pieces of art, or sculpture or things placed in the landscape,” said Town Manager Jeff Loux. “Art really encompasses experimental opportunities, performance opportunities and some of those are virtually cost free. It can go from close to zero to a tremendous amount of money if you choose to.”

Council members agreed a public committee should be established to involve the public in the process, though it’s unclear what exactly they will be making decisions on. The committee may include local artists as well the general public to ensure a broad community involvement.

“As the plan begins to flush itself out it may begin to bring some clarity to the composition of this committee,” said Tirman.

Town staff is planning a working draft of a master plan then holding a workshop in March for the public to provide any critique they may have on the plan.

Hannah Jones is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. She can be reached at 530-550-2652 or

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