Bicyclists have a new spot to hitch their ride as Geneva’s newest art sculpture combines a functional bike rack with a new downtown public art project.
Located at the northwest corner of Third and Franklin streets, the “Skyward” is the fourth installation of the Geneva Cultural Art Commission’s Bike + Rack = Art program, which was created to bring more sculptures throughout the downtown. City leaders and the commission held a dedication ceremony Aug. 30.
The “Skyward” Bike rack consists of three similar, but slightly different circular forms elevated by a single post. The three racks are made from hot forged steel and held together with rivets, banding and modern welding techniques. The center bar of each piece creates a visual slanted line that points above the horizon. Each piece can accommodate two to three bicycles.
The installation is the creation of Chicago artist Christopher Leslie, the owner of Metal Heart Forge that specializes in decorative ironwork using traditional blacksmithing techniques.
The $5,500 sculptures were funded by the City’s Cultural Arts Commission, which included a generous contribution of $2,500 from Geneva residents Katherine & James Hepp in support of public art.
“When I first saw the 'Skyward' bike rack, it reminded me of something a ship’s captain would use to view the stars to help find their way home,” Cultural Arts Commission Chair Tim Vetang said.
The commission’s Bike + Rack = Art program began in 2014 with the creation of the “Welcome Rounds” at the northeast corner of Third and Campbell streets. Subsequent projects have included “A Unique Cycle” in 2016 at State and Fourth streets and the “Dala Hitching Post” in 2018 located south of the Geneva Post Office, 26 S. Third St.
For more information about the Geneva Cultural Arts Commission, visit the City's website or find the group on Facebook.