Cyclists riding in the urban core of Nashville can park their bikes at a giant padlock, a row of soaring cornstalks or a winding microphone perhaps as soon as late spring.
Those are just three of the seven imaginative bicycle racks approved Thursday by the Metro Nashville Arts Commission out of 139 designs submitted in the open contest, finalizing the first wave of an undertaking billed as a “template” to install more public art in Nashville.
“My impression is there’s something here for everybody,” said Pepe Presley, vice chair of the commission and chair of Nashville’s Public Art Committee. “It’s a great (project) for the city and it’s something I think we’ll be strutting out to different locations.”
The project’s total price tag of less than $100,000 came from funds collected through Metro’s “Percent for the Arts” program, which dedicates 1 percent of all net proceeds of general obligation bonds issued for public construction projects to the funding of public art.
The commission, which began accepting applications in September, only considered professional artists who live within a 200-mile radius of Nashville. Winning design teams of the bike racks each collected $2,500.
Arts commission chair Jane Alvis said the installment phase of the project should begin by late spring or early summer 2010, with the hope being to eventually approve more bike racks for others areas.
Locations that will receive new racks are the downtown Nashville Public Library, the Farmers Market at Rosa Parks Boulevard, Bicentennial Mall, the Music Row Roundabout, the Fulton Complex at Second Avenue South and on Commerce Street on between Fourth and Fifth avenues.
The approved bike racks are:
1. “Padlock Emerging from Ground” by Matt Young of Memphis, which will be installed at the downtown Nashville Public Library. Made of stainless steel and set in a concrete base, the design will be replicated in a group to accommodate multiple bicycles.
2. “Corn & Tomatoes” by Paige Easter and Dan Goostree of Nashville, which will be installed at Rosa Parks Boulevard outside the Farmers Market. The rack presents large sliced tomatoes and corns stalks that are made of durable exterior materials.
3. “Capitol” by Luke Tidwell of Nashville, which will be positioned at the Bicentennial Mall side of Farmers Market. The rack combines the stars from the Tennessee flag with a symbol of cycling.
4. “Microphone Rack” by Franne Lee, Keith Harmon and Mac Hill of Nashville, which will go at the northeast corner of Demonbreun Street and Music Row. The rack, made of stainless steel, represents Nashville’s history as a communications, broadcasting and music center.
5. “Bicycle Copse,” by Anice Doak of Nashville, will be installed at Commerce Street between Fourth and Fifth Avenues. The 11-foot tall structure, made of stainless steel, is designed to be reminiscent of a group of trees found in nature.
6. “Banjos,” by Ric Howse, a Middle Tennessee native, will be placed at the Fulton Office Complex at Second Avenue South. Its design is intended to complement the musical heritage and tradition of Nashville by displaying upright, slightly tilted banjos.
The commission approved a seventh bike rack design, which does not yet have a location.