Friday, February 21, 2014

Philly's New Bike Racks are Coming to the Philadelphia Flower Show

Last year we partnered up with the Office of Arts, Culture, and Creative Economy to bring art bike racks to Philadelphia's streets. We won a grant, put out a call for artists, and announced the winners. Now these unique bike racks are being fabricated right now, as we all sit here in our velvet-lined work pants, sip our coffee, and plot how we're going to sneak off to watch USA-Canada men's hockey at noon. (This is what we're all doing, right?)
A mid-production shot of "Spiral," a bike rack by Collin Robinson

These racks will eventually adorn some of Center City Philadelphia's most prominent locations, like the PMA's Perelman Building and Sister Cities Park. But the public's first glimpse of the racks is coming as a sculpture garden display at the Philadelphia Flower Show, March 1-9 in the Convention Center.
Another rack, "Birds" by Kathleen Fruge-Brown, to be displayed at the Flower Show

Up to eight racks total will be on display in the Grand Hall, most easily accessible via the Convention Center entrance on Market Street between 11th and 12th. (Map here.)

These racks will pull double duty: enlivening our streets with art, and helping ease Center City's desperate need for more bike parking. Because why lock to a boring old U-rack when you can lock up to a bird?
"Bike Rack" by Warren Holzman and Iron Studio takes its inspiration from the Fibonacci spiral
and Philadelphia's blacksmithing and steel shipbuilding history
This project was one of 43 winners of a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation as part of its Knight Arts Challenge. MOTU is also playing a big part in running the contest, determining specs, and the racks' eventual installation this summer.