«Back to As a Matter of Art

A Place to Rest Your Weary Wheels

by Kathleen Reckling, Deputy Director of Public Programs, ArtsWestchester

"Converging Vistas" by Christopher Flick (photo credit: Margaret Fox)
"Converging Vistas" by Christopher Flick (photo credit: Margaret Fox)

For many, the term “public art” is synonymous with murals or sculptures. But sometimes it is less obvious. Bus stops, benches and bike racks all offer opportunities for artists to rethink objects that function in our daily experience with public spaces. The Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge’s public art collection is unique because it includes functional as well as experiential works. In addition to sculptures and a mural, artist-designed bike racks offer a creativity-infused spot for cyclists to rest their weary wheels after traversing the newly opened 3.6 mile shared use path.  

As part of a statewide call to artists, sculptors and designers were invited to submit proposals for unique bike racks that would be placed at key locations of the Westchester and Rockland landings of the path. Bronx resident Christopher Flick was one of the artists awarded a commission through the competitive selection process that was conducted through a partnership between ArtsWestchester and New York State Thruway Authority, and in collaboration with Arts Council of Rockland. His sculptural bike rack, Converging Vistas, a line drawing rendered in hand-buffed steel, is now situated on the Westchester terminus of the bridge.   

The work was thoughtfully and diligently crafted in the basement of his apartment building, which was converted into a studio. There, he creates his works, transforming abandoned street signs into a child’s reading seat; converting discarded phone booths into arm chairs. The items are as comfortable as they are artful, as Flick frequently blends utility with whimsy.  

As a welder for the MTA, he is acutely aware of the symbolic and functional role of infrastructure systems. Bridges, tunnels and train lines get people from point A to point B, but they also represent the exchange of ideas, shifting landscapes, homecomings and voyages. The valleys and peaks of Converging Vistas reference the urban skyline of Manhattan, with the Palisades cliffs to the south and the mountains and hills to the north.  It is a work of art that offers a place for respite and reflection on journeys ahead.

A version of this article first appeared in the August issue of ArtsNews, ArtsWestchester’s monthly publication. ArtsNewsis distributed throughout Westchester County. A digital copy is also available at artsw.org/artsnews.

More from As a Matter of Art Blog

Matching Grant Can Double Donations for Westchester Arts Groups

Many arts and culture groups in Westchester still need support to recover from the pandemic and its challenges despite their continued determination and hard work. During this crucial time, the community can provide much-needed relief to Westchester arts and culture groups through the Art$WChallenge grant program. The annual program currently offers grant money to benefit … Read More »

6 Arts Festivals to Check Out This Fall

Each fall, outdoor arts festivals call to arts lovers like a beacon in the night.  For many, these festivals are like a ritual to welcome in the changing leaves, flannel shirts and hot cocoa binging. Now, after several years of distancing, people are slowly but surely returning to the arts. September and October are ripe … Read More »

Tradition Interrupted

Traditions are instilled at an early age. Some revolve around holidays, objects, places or religions; some connect to specific people. They can be generational, cultural or global in their origin, and can have large societal impact. Katonah Museum of Art (KMA)’s current exhibition, Tradition Interrupted, features 12 artists from all over the world who reclaim … Read More »

More from As a Matter of Art Blog

This entry was posted in . Bookmark the permalink.