The Magic Bike, a sculpture from Dallas-based Robertus Joost van der Wege, is under construction at the Mountain View College welding school.
The sculpture is this year’s winner of the Fort Worth Avenue Development Group’s Spare Parts contest, and the artist will complete it before Aug. 24, when it is set to be installed on Fort Worth Avenue. Originally, the piece was to be placed in front of the Dallas West Trailer Park. But that property’s owner, Cienda Partners, is planning changes on the site, which could include building an upscale apartment complex. The company first gave trailer park residents until Aug. 31 to move out but last week sent a letter extending the move-out date to Jan. 31.
Either way, it’s maybe not a good time to install public art there.
The artist has suggested installing the piece temporarily at The Foundry and allowing the public to vote on where they want the sculpture to go. Every beer purchased would buy one ballot, he suggests.
The development group’s board wants to install the sculpture on vacant land at Fort Worth Avenue and Sylvan.
From the development group’s David Lyles:
“We are hoping to put the Magic Bike installation on the northeast corner of Fort Worth Avenue and Sylvan (across from the Belmont and Sylvan Thirty) heralding the beginning of the Fort Worth Avenue bike lanes if all goes well, we still have a few details to work out, but right now that is the plan.”
The sculpture is a three-wheeled, seven-seat bicycle that will sit on a platform. It’s made of recycled steel and will be powder coated, maybe in white instead of the chrome that is shown in the mock-up below. The wheels turn, and the seats will be functional places to sit.
The artist started working with bicycles around 2005.
“I didn’t know much about bikes or fabrication at the time,” he says.
But he started volunteering with Bikes for Tykes and “started learning from these old bike mechanics,” he says. Then, he decided to learn about welding, so he turned to Mountain View, where professor Dewayne Roy has built one of the best welding programs in the country.
Check out Robertus Joost van der Wege’s bike sculptures on his website and the mock up below.