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Art selected for Champions Plaza

Jack Barnwell
jbarnwell@tahoedailytribune.com
South Lake Tahoe artist David Foster has been selected to create artwork for Champions Plaza. His concept, the Olympic Flame, was submitted with the idea that it was timeless to the Olympic and local sports athletes.
Jack Barnwell / Tahoe Daily Tribune |

Champions Plaza at Lakeview Plaza at the corner of Lake Tahoe Boulevard and Lakeview Avenue will see a new flame representing South Shore’s athletes after the city out South Lake Tahoe City Council selected an artist to craft public art.

The council selected local artist David Foster out of five responsive bids for proposed public art at the plaza.

Foster submitted a bid for a nine-foot bronze statute depicting the Olympic flame. The statue would be placed on a three-foot stainless steel base.

The Olympic flame would be designed so it would depict the wide color spectrum of flames along with the texture.

Foster submitted his design because he felt it was a timeless tribute to athletes instead of creating athletes with regalia or style that could change in 10 years.

Foster has provided more than 30 years of experience to art and art education in South Lake Tahoe, including teaching at Lake Tahoe Community College. He retired in 2008.

City Manager Nancy Kerry said the bid award was for $75,000.

Council members appeared receptive to Foster’s design but had concerns about vandalism.

Foster said he designed his sculpture specifically to address safety and vandalism.

“As we built this sculpture, we wanted to reduce ability for people to climb on this piece, so there’s not enough room for people to stand on it,” Foster said.

Council members noted that inscriptions could be added to honor the area’s athletes. Councilman Austin Sass suggested having an inscription that would describe South Lake Tahoe.

Councilman Tom Davis supported the idea of illuminating the statue with colored LEED lights.

Four other artists submitted proposals that met the city’s guidelines, including local artist Mark Allione, who proposed a bronze sports figures and a six-foot-tall solid bronze sculpture of Lake Tahoe.

Foster said he expects the sculpture process to take a maximum of 18 months to complete.

The council also awarded Allione to produce flags that would adorn the three flag poles in Champions Plaza. Allione had presented designs in his initial proposal that included several different designs representing summer and winter sports.

Allione, a professional artist for 18 years, studied under Foster at Lake Tahoe Community College.

The council awarded the $1,800 bid with condition that he bring back more design samples and work with the city on final design concepts.

The city moved forward with the idea of Champions Plaza in 2014 following the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi to honor the South Shore’s Olympic legacy and the local athletes — Meyers natives Jamie Anderson, Maddie Bowman and Hannah Teter, who participated in the Sochi Games.

The plaza was built as part of the Harrison Avenue rehabilitation project.


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