City of Geneva Announces Selected Back Panel Designs for Upcoming Downtown Bike Shelters
The City of Geneva’s Public Art Committee selected artist Mia Brownell to create laser-cut back panel designs for three proposed bicycle-parking shelters in the downtown district, as part of the City’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) Streetscape project.
Brownell was chosen from a group of seven artists, who submitted designs for the Public Art Committee’s request for proposals from January to June of this year. The DRI Streetscape project is funded through DRI grant funding by the NYS Department of State and the NYS Office of Community Renewal, as well as funding from the NYS Environmental Facilities Corporation and City public bonds. Construction is anticipated to begin in 2021.
The request for proposals identified three themes for artists to create their designs from, with the three selected themes based on content from the 2016 City of Geneva Comprehensive Plan. These themes included the City’s and region’s agricultural history, the City’s economic and entrepreneurial background, and the social and political change by engaged residents throughout Geneva’s history. Brownell’s unique designs are representative of each of these three proposed bicycle parking shelters’ themes. The proposed bicycle parking shelters will be located in front of the Exchange Street parking lot, the City Hall parking lot, as well as the northeast corner of Castle and Exchange streets near Lake City Hobby. Locations were chosen in Winter 2019 as part of the firm Barton Loguidice’s process of planning and design of the new streetscapes.
The design for the proposed bicycle parking shelter located in front of the Exchange Street parking lot is entitled “Sisters Market,” and depicts the region’s and city’s agricultural history. “For generations,” explains Brownell, “Geneva’s regional agricultural history includes ‘the three sisters’: corn, beans, and squash. This piece combines inspiration from the organic flow of nature with the systems of bringing agriculture to market and the biology of food consumption. Rows and vines containing corn, beans, and squash coalesce into a spiraling shape inspired by a scientific model of a protein molecule.”
For the City Hall parking lot shelter panel, the design highlights the work of engaged residents throughout Geneva’s history and the city’s stories of social and political change. Brownell entitles this design as “Hope,” and explains, “Geneva is a home for hope. This artwork has multiple visual associations that bring together the past and present inspired by Geneva’s rich concern for social justice. Viewers may see a sky reflected in Seneca Lake, an opening eye, or the structure of a human cell, common to us all.”
The final bicycle parking shelter, located on the northeast corner of Castle and Exchange streets near Lake City Hobby is entitled “City Currents,” and depicts the city’s economic and entrepreneurial history. “Hints of Geneva’s iconic buildings are in this design,” describes Brownell, “including the Smith Center for the Arts, Post office and City Hall, Patent Cereals Building, Nester Malt House, and Left Bank. Geneva’s architecture and waterfront are threaded together with grape vines in celebration of its regional vineyards.”
Brownell’s designs are currently being fabricated by Vance Metal. The Geneva Public Art Committee is composed of seven members of the Geneva community. There will be positions opening on the committee in January 2021. Please inquire with Katie Labbe at KLabbe@geneva.ny.us if you would like to get involved.