Art Bike Rack Debuts in Benson
September 01, 2009
Mark Goodall’s “Sprockets on Rebar” has a new home in front of the Benson Community Center at 6008 Maple St. This functional piece of art is part of the Omaha Metro Bike Blast program, launched earlier this year to raise public interest in riding bikes and to encourage the installation of bike racks across the metro.
The project was inspired by the work of musician/artist David Byrne with the New York City Department of Transportation, said Dr. David Corbin, a professor of health education at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Byrne, of Talking Heads fame, was invited to join the panel of jurors selected by the NYC DOT to judge a design competition for outdoor and indoor bicycle racks. Inspired by the city’s initiative, Byrne submitted some original design ideas of his own named after specific locations and neighborhoods.
Goodall, an attorney by day with offices at 6104 Maple St., used recycled scrap to create his art bike rack. The exterior circle at the top of the inverted U is an antique wheel rim that’s been resized to meet the project’s dimension requirements. Old bicycle sprockets featuring rare designs form the work’s “flowers.” The flower “stems” are scrap rebar that has been cold bent.
Those who frequent Maple Street may be familiar with Goodall’s artistic offerings. “Robodoe,” created by Goodall as part of the J. Doe Project, graces the window of his Benson office. “The thing about public art is that it can show the public you don’t have to be an artist to be artistic,” he said.
The Benson-Ames Alliance sponsored “Sprockets on Rebar.” Lisa Dale, principal of Benson High School and chair of the Benson-Ames Alliance Steering Council, said the project fits well with the alliance’s philosophy of striving to become a sustainable community that actively seeks a balance between its built and natural environments. “It also meshes well with downtown Benson’s emerging arts and entertainment culture,” she noted.
The alliance selected the community center as the location for the art bike rack because of its public nature. The center is also next door to the Benson Branch of the Omaha Public Library.
For more information about the Omaha Metro Bike Blast or to learn more about sponsoring an art bike rack, contact Les Bruning at 402.341.8990. For more information about the Benson-Ames Alliance, visit www.benson-ames.org.