The Helena Bike Tower – a 20-foot-tall sculpture made from recycled bikes – will be unveiled on Friday, Nov. 4 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Great Northern Town Center in front of the Cinemark movie theatre. Stop by for a slice of pizza as organizers thank volunteers and community partners and celebrate the completion of the public art project.
The sculpture, designed by prominent Helena artist Robert Harrison along with the Bike Tower Working Group, combines Helena’s familiar Fire Tower landmark with recycled bikes from the community in a celebration of Helena’s active lifestyle and vibrant cycling culture. It is the first recycled bike tower of its kind in Montana!
“As a visual artist I am always thinking about the relationship of the sculptural work to the space it inhabits,” says Harrison. “In the case of the Helena Bike Tower, the half-scale corten steel version of Helena’s historic Fire Tower is well suited to the allotted Cinemark space, and the orange and yellow color choices of the donated community bicycles make them pop in the visually active environment.”
More than 120 Helena residents donated bikes in the spring of 2015 and volunteers spent hours stripping parts from the bikes and power washing them. Capital Collision Center donated all the labor and paint to paint the bikes orange and yellow.
Dick Anderson Construction and Helena Sand and Gravel donated the time and materials to build the foundation, and Jaime Neer and Keith Wilson at Westside Welding create the steel framework of the tower structure.
Volunteers secured bikes to the steel framework and Gardendwerks completed the landscaping.