Above is a selection of the new bike rack designs approved by the Metro Arts Commission last week.
A giant whisk, antenna tower and torso-less legs are a few of the new artist-designed bike racks set to dot Davidson County as part of the second installment of a public art initiative.
The Metro Arts Commission voted last week to approve 10 new bike rack designs to go up at still-underdetermined locations perhaps by next summer. The move comes two years after the arts commission kicked off the bike rack initiative, when it placed seven racks –– including an oversized microphone, corn stalk and tomato, and banjo –– inside the urban core of the city.
“We think the bike rack program could be an iconic program for Nashville,” said Jen Cole, the art commission’s director, who anticipates a total of 30 bike racks to be erected within three to five years. “We feel like this is a great project for entry-level public artists, which is one of the things we try to do.”
The recently approved batch of 10 bike racks, according to Cole, are likely to be placed in Nashville neighborhoods as opposed to the downtown central business district.
“I wouldn’t rule out that we would have some downtown, but the intent would definitely be to move those into neighborhoods,” Cole said.
Cole said her department is currently working with the Metro Health Department to produce a study that identifies prioritized areas across the county for recreational cycling and bike lanes. Determining locations for the 10 new bike racks would follow, she said, a process that could conclude in a month.
Cole said the commission provided notice last Friday to the selected artists, who had responded to a call for artists.
“We’ll begin working with them to turn their design into reality,” she said, adding that the “fabrication” process would commence months later. She estimated the new racks could be installed by the end of summer 2013.
The commission’s overall budget for the bike rack project, which includes all 30 racks, is $300,000. Cole said the cost varies for each rack design.
Funding for Nashville artists’ bike racks comes from the Percent for the Arts program, a law passed during Mayor Bill Purcell’s tenure that channels 1 percent of all net proceeds of general obligation bonds issued for construction projects to public art.