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Blessing and Joe led a group of high school students to create an exuberant monument to cycling culture on the edge of downtown Tucson. Bike Church is a walk-in metal sculpture made from recycled bike parts arranged into geometric forms that borrow from the religious iconography of Christian, Muslim, Jewish and Native American faiths. ‘Stained glass’ windows cast colors onto the white structure while solar lights illuminate the building at night. Bike chimes hang like organ pipes and give the sculpture an interactive twist, as visitors can play the chimes and fill the surrounding area with sound. Two shrines allow visitors to contribute to the sculpture, as they can place pictures or other mementos at the memorial.
In the five years since Bike Church was created it has become a gateway to the neighborhood. People use it as a meeting place, a memorial for fallen cyclists, even the site for a wedding! In 2014 a park was created around the sculpture through a mixture of public and private funds.
12' x 12' x 22'
powder coated steel, bicycle parts, acrylic, LED lighting, solar panel
Pima Association of Governments-Teaching Artist Grant, TPAC
Joe O'Connell and Blessing Hancock