How long has it been since our bridge leading into Ketchum was completed? And how did the metal sculptures become part of the bridge? It’s been long enough for us to have moved from shocked to puzzled to the realization—oops! Big mistake! Do they enhance the overall appearance of the bridge? Is the beautiful view of the river and its surrounding forest not enough?
When I first saw them, it reminded me of a similar situation that occurred in Phoenix, Ariz., when I was living there. The city erected a beautiful wall along a portion of the freeway. It was constructed of a sand-colored material and featured some very nice desert-inspired designs, cactus, etc., in bas relief. A few months later, there appeared on top of the wall a collection of not-so-pretty Mexican-style pots spaced about 25 yards apart. They looked ridiculous. The wall didn’t need it. One day, a full-size real ceramic toilet appeared on top of the wall. Someone was letting everyone know how he felt about the “pots”!
I was biking along the path adjacent to the highway and had an opportunity to look at the sculptures from a stationary point of view. They’re interesting enough, taken one at a time. When you’re driving over the bridge, the sculptures are just a curious blur. They’re a distraction and still shocking and puzzling.
Enough time has gone by for all of us to realize that the sculptures would be far better served if they were removed from the bridge and placed at more appropriate sites around town. One or two could be attractive on the grounds of the library or in one or two of the city parks.
All of them could be placed along the bike path. There are plenty of miles on which to space them out. This would give them continuity and afford the observer a chance to see them as a collection while having the opportunity to study and admire each one, one at a time.
You say that would be too expensive? When you realize you’ve made a big mistake, you need to bite the bullet and correct it. Not doing so would be, “Oops! Big mistake!”
Laine Hubbard, Sun Valley