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13th Avenue - "Bike-Nado"

“Bike-Nado” 2017

Media:  Steel Pipe and 40 locally donated bikes
Artist:  Chris Fennell
Location13th Avenue 14110 E 13th Ave., Aurora, CO 80011

"Bike-Nado" is a thirty-foot tall tornado made out of pipes that is inspired by the light rail system and uses lines of bicycles to symbolize trains. The leading and trailing wheel of each bicycle loops to visually connect the bicycles in a chain form on top of the pipes that are painted the color of each line. Artist Chris Fennell builds structural skeletons from discarded or found objects. The materials he chooses have been cast out or devalued by society and so his selections are based on the kind of message or impact each piece should convey. The materials used for "Bike-Nado" include steel pipe and 40 locally donated bicycles. The artwork is placed in the traffic island between the parking area and the train station platform.

Artist Biography:
Chris Fennell grew up in Florida working construction before getting an engineering degree from the University of South Florida. He applied his engineering skills while working for Motorola Inc. and British Aerospace. Feeling limited, Fennell decided he wanted to create his own work from scratch, so he went back to school and earned a master of fine arts degree from the University of Georgia. One of his professors wanted him to tear down an old barn, which inspired Fennell to build his first colossal sculpture. “I saw the barn falling down, and then the idea came to build a wave,” Fennell said. He built the barn “wave” in 2000, and then followed that by fusing 150 bicycles together to create a “tornado” in 2001. Using discarded objects to create sculptures has become his theme. He has fused together sculptures out of materials ranging from baseball bats and decommissioned fire ladders, to old school buses and aluminum canoes. Fennel’s workshop is currently located in the historic Republic Steel factory in Birmingham, Alabama.

Bike Nado at 13th avenue

Chris Fennell

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