McCall City Council voted unanimously to approve Mill Whistle as the city’s last public artwork.
Mill Whistle will be in Brown Park near the shore. An area where five mills once stood and later burned down. Artist Amy Westover says one of the few objects that survived the fires was the mill whistle.
“I really became fascinated with this object,” Westover said at the city council meeting. “As a way to be able to use it in a public artwork that would kind of bring that bygone era of the factory and the history of this important industry back to McCall’s early years.”
Westover says that while working on the artwork, she learned that mill whistles are rare to find. The McCall whistle is 12 inches in diameter. Westover said this size should mean the whistle sounds nice.
“The idea here is really to restore the whistles, create a sculptural component that will house and hold them, and then blow them up with steam,” she said.
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The sculpture will be 15 feet tall. The whistle will not sound without special portable equipment and will sound only two to four times a year on special occasions. The public will help determine what the special events are.
“We are very proud of our history and want to capture part of it,” said McCall Mayor Bob Giles. “It’s an amazing thing you imagined. The functional artwork and connection to the story is just fantastic.
Westover, of Boise, designed several important works of art. She built the Grove St. Canal illuminated. And the glassy art piece upstairs at Boise Airport. Same these metallic planets on the ground in Bodo.
The McCall redevelopment agency has awarded Westover $ 85,000 to have the entire project completed by September 30, 2021.