Boise Art

Bowling for Bears - The Most Fun You Can Have With Six Bruins

Chamber of Commerce Description

This wall art symbolizes the age-old spring salmon runs of the Pacific Northwest. The bears are ready, organized, for the bountiful days to come, which are depicted by a colorful river of fish just out of their sight. This makes us wonder what the spring run must have been like right here on the Boise River two hundred years ago.

Imagine grizzly bears and black bears making their way over the foothills and down the gulches to fish in the river, the likes of which is only seen in Alaska now. What a wild, beautiful, and vivacious scene it must have been. Is this art a celebration of the spring run in general, or is it a memorial for an event that is becoming rarer with every passing year? You'll have to go down and decide for yourself.


My Description

Don't buy all that crap about bears eating salmon. This art is all about the salmon's revenge. A skilled taxidermist has set some very fine ursine head mounts in a perfect bowling-pin formation, and the salmon are fixing to have themselves a fine time doing a little bear bowling. Think about it: the salmon are all nice and colorful, and their excitement has caused them to form a rather unorganized line to be the next one to take out a bear head or six. The bears, on the other hand, are dark, stoic, and missing their bodies. Is there any question who got the shaft in this piece of art?

I call it proper retribution. Bears have been slaughtering salmon forever during spring and fall runs, sometimes only eating the choicest parts of the fish and leaving the rest for the birds. The salmon have a right to be peeved, and now the tables have finally turned. I'm just wondering what they'll do to me when they get the chance. I've eaten my share of those tasty critters.

Boise-the-Great Name: Bowling for Bears
Real Name: Spring Run
Type: Metalwork and ceramics
Artist: Marilyn Lysohir
Completed: 1994
Where: On the Plaza 121 Building, 121 N. 9th St.

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