Bicyclists have a new spot to hitch their ride as Geneva’s newest art sculpture combines a functional bike rack with the City’s Swedish heritage.
Located at James and Third streets, the “Dala Hitching Post” is the third installation of the Geneva Cultural Art Commission’s Bike + Rack = Art program, which was created to bring more sculptures throughout the downtown. City leaders, the Geneva Chamber of Commerce and the commission held a dedication ceremony Sept. 4.
The “Dala Hitching Post” consists of three, 5-foot high stainless steel Swedish Dala Horses. Each horse can accommodate two to three bicycles. The piece was the creation of Batavia resident Eric Fuertes, an artist specializing in metal fabrication and casting. A graduate of Northern Illinois University School of Art and Design, he currently teaches at The School of the Art Institute in Chicago.
The sculpture was dedicated in honor of Jean Gaines, the former chamber president from 1978 to 2018. During her tenure at the chamber, Geneva has received numerous honors as being a top shopping, dining and entertainment destination that also hosts award-winning festivals throughout the year.
The $20,500 sculpture was funded by the City’s Cultural Arts Commission. The Chamber also contributed a $4,000 donation, which was made possible due to the generosity of many residents and businesses. WaterJet USA and Chicago Metal Supply provided a big assist to the effort by donating the use of a water jet machine to cut the sculpture out of stainless steel.
“Because of the community support, we have a work of art that is not only functional, but continues to add to Geneva’s growing public art collection,” Cultural Arts Commission Chairman Tim Vetang said. “I know this sculpture will serve as a source of civic pride that will generate plenty of smiles and photos for years to come.”
The commission’s previous bike rack sculptures were the “Welcome Rounds” in 2014 at the northeast corner of Third and Campbell streets and “A Unique Cycle” two years later at State and Fourth streets.
For more information about the Geneva Cultural Arts Commission, visit the City's website or find the group on Facebook.