The wellbeing of communities can certainly be measured in steps and heart rates, but genuine community health includes engagement of the senses and intellect as well. Valuing this broad spectrum, communities enrich their neighborhoods with outdoor art, trail systems, and public gathering places. Truckee is fortunate to represent a population of athletes, naturalists, and artists that prioritize personal and environmental health.
In 2013, Truckee resident Stacy Carr approached the Truckee Public Art Commission (TPAC) with a concept that combines aesthetic and function: artist-designed bike racks. With the support of the Truckee Donner Recreation and Parks District (TDRPD), TPAC took up the idea enthusiastically and began raising funds through donations and silent art auctions.
As TPAC board member Troy Corliss explains, “outdoor public art is a fundamental element to our urban environments, and helps define the character of our public spaces through interactive and aesthetic-placemaking.”
TPAC’s board hoped that the concept would not be a self-contained spark of creativity, but would be flamed by the shared passions of different town entities. With a fully formed proposal, TPAC applied first to the annual grant cycle of Queen of Hearts Women’s Fund.
“We knew that the Queen of Hearts are committed to investing in the local community. We proposed a project that could be scaled up as needed,” said Troy Corliss, TPAC board member. The Queen of Hearts awarded TPAC $10,000 to install two to three artist-designed bike racks. Soon after, the Truckee Town Council committed $25,000 for an additional five racks.
TPAC announced its call for entries for bike racks that would enhance the town’s playful character and charm. The community responded with more than 50 submissions and immediate appreciation. Jae Gustafson, a nurse at Tahoe Forest Hospital, commissioned a rack for her two-wheeled commute to work.
It wasn’t just established local artists who sent in impressive designs, Truckee’s youngest generation also demonstrated their creative potential. Glenshire Elementary fourth graders submitted written descriptions, drawings, and 3D models of their designs for a class project. Hope Smith and Florian Standteiner, two second graders, collaborated on their steel dragon (pictured here) that was chosen for Donner Lake’s West End Beach.
Committed to beauty, community, and wellbeing, it’s no surprise that Truckee’s community has embraced the artist-designed bike racks.
- The Feather by Lauren Bello Ockerman. Location: Recreation Center
- El Dragon by Hope Smith & Florian Standteiner. Location: West End Beach, Donner Lake.
- High Iron and DeRailed by Bernie LaForest. Locations: Brickelltown.
- Animal Tracks by Kevin Kremler. Location: Tahoe Forest Hospital
This article originally appeared on the Give Back Tahoe page in Sierra Sun on 7/29/2015. TTCF’s Give Back Tahoe is a philanthropy campaign of TTCF that seeks to expose Tahoe-Truckee’s fantastic local nonprofit community, and connect people with their philanthropic passions. If you would like to connect with or support TPAC’s artist-designed bike racks, please contact Troy Corliss at email@example.com.