Many commuters pass the Sears Crosstown building every day, some of them aware of the energy being put into renovating this abandoned landmark. To draw attention to the building, we have designed an eye-catching kinetic sculpture that moves dramatically in the natural wind and shines brightly with reflected sunlight. The sculpture is 15 feet wide and spherical. It is designed to weather and last and it will be securely bolted to the walls and roof of the building.
The sculpture’s placement is important. The third floor balcony, low enough to be visible from the street and high enough to be seen from a distance, is also at an elevation that catches considerable wind. By choosing a prominent place on the exterior of the building itself, we hope to not only draw attention to our sculpture, but also to create visual evidence of something permanent being done to the building. Visual evidence may be the push that gets the Memphis public believing in the Sears Crosstown renovation.
We will engage the Memphis community by involving local bicycle shops and cycling clubs in the collection of used bicycle wheels to construct the artwork as well as in spreading the word about the entire rejuvenation effort. Collecting 100 wheels will not be a problem. To build our prototype, we collected 10 wheels in as many minutes just by visiting one bike shop. We could probably get all the wheels we need this way, but we want to involve the people of Memphis. So we are asking for used bike wheels from anyone. Local bicyclers will be able to ride by and say “that’s my wheel up there. I am a part of this work of art.”
This sculpture will also serve to promote our developing Memphis Greenline, which runs directly north of the building.
We have already received a pledge of 60% funding for this project, so it will not take much more to make this sculpture a reality. We want to stress that this is an artwork that will be viewable by anyone at any time. We want this sculpture to serve as a creative beacon, arousing interest in the building itself and in public art in Memphis for months and years to come.