Southeast Ankeny is one among Portland’s oldest and most well-known bicycling streets. It was a neighborhood greenway earlier than the Metropolis of Portland even referred to as them that (the earlier identify was bicycle boulevard).
For those who’ve ridden on Ankeny round SE 18th you might need observed two creative bike parking sheds outdoors a enterprise on the northeastern nook of the intersection. The gates across the bike racks are adorned with lovely metalwork that represents pure scenes just like the solar, flowers, and birds. And far of the supplies used are previous bike components. I’ve seen the sheds for years and have all the time been inquisitive about them.
This morning I chatted with their creator.
Richard Cawley was born in Portland and has been welding metallic collectively in inventive methods since he discovered to weld at Portland Group School on the age of 15. At present on the age of 41, he owns and operates RichArt Sculpture and has accomplished initiatives for quite a lot of purchasers and occasions over the previous 20 years.
Cawley grew up driving his bike across the metropolis and one of many first issues he ever made was a metallic sculpture of a cowboy. It was accomplished for a contest hosted by the Bicycle Transportation Alliance (BTA, now The Road Belief) in 1996. “I received a motorcycle in that contest, in order that was cool,” Cawley shared on the cellphone immediately.
“My first shtick as a budding artist was making stuff out of bikes. I began chopping collectively bike half sculptures and beloved the gears and mechanical features of them, making robots and techy-transformer form of stuff.”
His metallic cowboy bought the eye of Bike Gallery and different retailers who employed Cawley to construct items for them. As he and his artwork matured, Cawley says he moved on to totally different supplies. “Finally I bought form of sick of it,” he recalled. “Sadly, the factor about bikes is that they’re lined by chrome and it’s gross to weld with all of the fumes and stuff.”
The Ankeny bike parking shed was put in in 2012. Cawley mentioned he’d labored with the architect of the adjoining constructing earlier than and he satisfied the homeowners to have bike parking and make an announcement befitting of what he calls “the Ankeny bike hall”.
“Our theme for that mission was nature and the setting. We pulled the skin world of bushes and birds and waves along with bicycles.” A number of of the items have been stolen through the years, however due to a thick powdercoat and layer of spray paint, it nonetheless appears nice after almost 10 years within the Portland climate.
The Ankeny bike shed is only one of Cawley’s giant works round city. He additionally did the metalwork on a multifamily dwelling on North Albina Road throughout from Peninsula Park and you may see his handiwork in any respect three Teote eating places on the town (Hawthorne, Alberta, and downtown).
When he’s not excessive up on a ladder welding a brand new creation, Cawley helps run the Manifestation PDX makerspace at 2020 SE Bush. He and some artist mates additionally run the nonprofit Portal Arts Collective, a group artwork house that makes use of recycled supplies to create ecological-themed sculptures to boost consciousness for endangered animals.
Be taught extra at RichArtSculpture.com.