The sidewalks of Kings Beach are adorned with colorful splashes of art fastened to a few of the town’s new streetlights. A multicolored bear banner perches near the entrance to Tahoe Market, and skiers sashaying down a snowy mountain decorate the streetlight in front of Rite-Aid.
The new Kings Beach Art Walk is part of an effort by the North Tahoe Business Association to promote the Kings Beach community and public art on the community’s new streetlights that line Highway 28.
“Like Anytown, USA, this allows a community to promote what’s happening: upcoming events, et cetera,” says NTBA executive director Joy Doyle.
In early 2016, a few basic welcome banners were installed, as well as ones promoting upcoming events such as Wine on the Water, Tahoe Vista Paddlefest and the Music on the Beach summer concert series. However, instead of using all of the banner-armed streetlights with promotional messages, NTBA decided to mix it up with art banners that would beautify the town and make strolling through the heart of Kings Beach an activity in itself.
“Kings Beach is transforming into a premier Tahoe location and the art walk is very accessible and available year-round for those ages 3 to 100. I really believe that Kings Beach can differentiate itself with public art.”
In November 2016, NTBA put out a call to artists for artwork that was colorful and meaningful and would enhance Kings Beach. Local businesses such as Old Brockway Golf Course, La Mexicana Market & Taqueria, Fifth Element Healing Center and Tahoe Forest Health System contributed the funds to create and install the banners and the chosen artists received a small honorarium.
“I was absolutely floored at how easy it was to get these banners sponsored. We sent one e-mail out with the goal to get eight sponsored art banners and 12 came in,” says Doyle. “We have a supportive community. It’s just art on the banners, no logos or artist names.”
Following the call to artists, the NTBA received 56 entries that displayed a variety of concepts in different mediums and styles. A panel of five evaluated the submissions and chose the artwork for the banners.
The committee looked closely at the subject matter and medium, ensuring that there was a variety in what was portrayed.
“It was great receiving all of those entries, but it also made it difficult to choose. Art is subjective, so we tried to stay focused on finding art that blended in with the environment,” Doyle says.
The final selections include art from students at Kings Beach Elementary School and Tahoe Expedition Academy, as well as pieces from local and regional artists including Jude Bischoff, Mike Bond, Anastiscia Chantler-Lang, Jennifer Eyzaguirre, Sue Gross, Pamela Hunt Lee, Kaio Martin, Cathy McClelland and Carrie White.
“This is really just a new way to give locals and guests something nice to look at. Kings Beach is transforming into a premier Tahoe location and the art walk is very accessible and available year-round for those ages 3 to 100. I really believe that Kings Beach can differentiate itself with public art,” says Doyle.
The 15 art banners are interspersed within a 1-mile stretch on the north and south sides of State Route 28.
“It’s a proven fact that art creates economic vitality and improves quality of life,” says Doyle, which aligns with NTBA’s mission.
For more information about the Kings Beach Art Walk and all of the featured art pieces, visit northtahoebusiness.org.