The cozy, communal streets of New Haven have been amped up thanks to Yale University DFAers.
Douglas Wong, Joel Sher and Cameron Yick have been creating “ArtRacks” to enhance the New Haven society. Their project showcases non-traditional, custom bike racks to bring attention to the importance of health, community and positive impact.
“We first began doing bike racks because we thought it was a feasible and interesting way of promoting biking in the community,” said Wong. “But now our primary motivation is really how excited people are about our bike racks.”
There are currently three ArtRacks in the city of New Haven, with a fourth in the works. Racks have been placed in front of various locations such as a vegetarian restaurant, a library, and a maritime-themed school. The newest bike rack will sit in front of the Connecticut Mental Health Center and is to be completed by the end of April.
“We should have [the racks] in the ground before the Rock to Rock Earth Day Bike Ride in April,” Wong explained.
While implementation of the racks has received great feedback from New Haven locals, Wong dreams of seeing ArtRacks covering the town.
“I think that three, or soon to be four, bike racks isn’t actually very many, and we hope to expand our operations in the future. One day in the future, I hope to come back to visit New Haven and see many artistic bike racks all over the city.”
This dream may be possible since the young designers are well supported by the community.
“The success we’ve had so far would not have been possible without the help of the New Haven Creative Arts Workshop for providing a space for us to work, and community volunteers to help us make the racks,” said Wong.
Though the ArtRacks journey is a year long process from start to finish, Wong, who has been a part of the group since its inception, is always pleased with the final outcome.
“Making the bike racks is easily the most fun part after we’ve figured out the location and obtained the funding needed. Seeing the reactions of the people who receive the bike racks is also very gratifying.”