Local artist teams up with Fordham Road BID to create Bike Tower on Fordham Road

Artist Christian Marche was looking to create the next big thing.

In an odd and creative twist, he came up with the idea for a sort of leaning tower of bikes.

The Bronx-based sculptor has teamed up with the Fordham Road Business Improvement District, the city Department of Transportation and local community investment organization Lucky Ant to work to bring to life his second large scale art project, aptly entitled The Bike Tower.

The project will consist of multiple bicycles and bicycle components welded together to create a 10 feet tall installation at the corner of East Fordham Road and Webster Avenue.

The artist, who lives and works in the Bronx, said the idea came from an art show he did in New Jersey.

“At the end of my last project Silver, I started to add pieces of bikes to it,” Marche said. “Then I was asked to be part of a bike show in New Jersey, where I made a chandelier entirely out of bicycle parts and it stole the show. That’s when it hit me, to make something crazy and creative using bikes.”

Marche’s first project, Silver, was unveiled in July 2011 by the Fordham Road BID.

“It took about a month to get it up,” Marche said. “Last year the project was entirely funded by the DOT and Fordham Road BID. This year we have to raise the funds. Construction will begin as soon as funding is confirmed, but I hope to have it up no later than the beginning of October.”

The project, a 10 foot tall sculpture made out of recycled and found materials, sits on the south-side overpass at Fordham Road and the Grand Concourse.

Last year’s concept of using found and recycled materials came out of the BID’s initiative to be more environmentally friendly.

“I think ‘Silver’ is great,” said Daniel Bernstein, president of the Fordham Road BID. “It has been there for a year now and it has been a huge attraction, I can’t tell you how many people stop to take pictures in front of it.”

The proposed and existing structures are part of a district-wide strategy by the BID to brand the area as a destination for the arts.

“Last year’s project was great, which is why we are looking to do another one,” Bernstein said. “Last year there was a grant that funded a large portion of the sculpture, but this year that grant is not available, but the BID has allocated money to the project.”

Bernstein said the BID gave about $2,000 to the project to jumpstart it.

Marche is looking to raise $10,400 for his Bike Tower Project.

In order to make the project possible, he and the BID have partnered with hyper-local investment company Lucky Ant, with users able to make “micro-investments” in their favorite local projects, typically small businesses or local arts organizations.

In exchange for their “investments” they are given a “return” in the form of products, services, discounts, and access to exclusive offers.

For example, if an investor pledges $35, they will receive an autographed copy of the first conceptual sketch of the sculpture.

For a $100 investment, the investor will receive a specialized, one-on-one welding class with Christian.

Kirsten Sanchez can be reach via e-mail at ksanchez@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 742-3394

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