(Drawing by David Boekelheide and Evan Holt/PNCA)
Two students at the Pacific Northwest College of Art in the Pearl District have begun to design the Tracey Sparling Memorial Pedal Garden. The new shelter will transform the existing bike corral on NW 13th and Johnson into an “iconic bike-centric sculpture garden that would support and strengthen Portland’s cycling community,” says a school spokesperson.
The project will not only remember Sparling, who was 19 at the time of her death, but will serve as practical experience for two students — David Boekelheide and Evan Holt — currently seeking their MFA in Applied Craft and Design. Boekelheide will present the project as his senior practicum.
To develop plans for the shelter, the students have worked with the Portland Bureau of Transportation, the Pearl District Neighborhood Association, the Regional Arts and Culture Council and local fabrication company Eleek, Inc.
After Sparling’s death, PNCA Dean of Students Michael Hall pushed for bike improvements at the campus. One of them, a corral of bike parking staples that has room for 54 bikes, was completed in March 2009. Since then, Hall has been working for a more substantial bike shelter to honor Sparling and he’s the driving force behind the Pedal Garden.
— Read more about Tracey Sparling and the impact her death had on our community at our “Tracey Sparling” story tag.