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Photos by Chad Ryan | The Journal Gazette
Nathan Pierce of Cape Girardeau, Mo., submitted a family design

Wheels of fortune

David Bibelhauser’s sculpture “I’ll Keep An Eye On It”
Lawn “jarts,” created by Bob Kiel
Cary Shafer’s “Unicycle”

What do these things have in common?

A cat.

A car.

A wrench, screwdriver and hammer set.

A heron.

A row of corn stalks.

That’s right – each of them will be a sculptural bicycle rack to be unveiled next May as part of IPFW’s 50th anniversary celebration.

The public art initiative Sculpture with Purpose is offering a preview-in-miniature of the innovative bike racks this week at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art. Models of the 50 bike racks will be on display there until Oct. 16 and will later be auctioned to raise scholarship funds for IPFW students.

The 23 artists who created the bike racks have shown a remarkable diversity of approach. For instance, the rack model by David Bibelhauser of Louisville, titled “I’ll Keep an Eye on It,” presents “a playful riff on the notion of asking someone to watch your bike while it’s parked.”

IPFW has done this kind of thing before. For its 40th anniversary, the university presented “Mastodons on Parade,” with various caricatures of the extinct beast dispatched to sidewalks and street corners around the city.

The whimsical beasts brightened the city and put an end to the common question, “What, exactly, is IPFW’s mascot?”

In 2005, the mastodons were auctioned for $175,000 for the United Way of Allen County.

The preview of next year’s citywide project makes it clear that cyclists, and the rest of us, have something to look forward to.