The Joy of Running Together is a public work of art in honor of the annual Spokane Bloomsday Run. Located near the finish line of the race, and is meant to give encouragement to the runners in their last leg of the race.
The work is comprised of 40 life-sized figures, all posed in the motion of running. According to the artist, David Govedare, this was accomplished by having runners pose against a wall, putting a bright light on them, and tracing their exact silhouettes. Govedare then turned to the community and was able to find sponsorships for all of the runners who participated in his artwork. To Govedare, the most important thing about Bloomsday were all the ages, ethnicities, and nationalities of all of the participants coming together and uniting in a single effort to run the race. Because of this the runners he chose to trace were of all different ethnicities and nationalities.
Contributions of $1,500 per figure provided the cost of making the art, and the names of the contributors are listed on each figure. Despite the fact that this artwork did not cost the city anything, there was still controversy surrounding the sculptures. Local artists felt that the Arts Commission should have been given the final say on the project, and protested the process the art went through to get approved. Govedare received permission from the Park Board, who apparently did not consult the Arts Commission before approving the project. The Park Board maintained that it had full control over the parks of the city, and enough artistic taste to decide what artwork to put up. Govedare said that he did not intend to bypass the commission, and that it was unfortunate.
According to news writer Richard Ripley, most people, when asked right after the art was installed, liked what they saw and felt that it was a good memorial and celebration of Bloomsday.