When 19-year old Tracey Sparling was killed while riding her bike in downtown Porltand on October 11th, 2007, it shook our city to the core. When, just 11 days later, Brett Jarolimek suffered a similar fate in a collision in north Portland, we experienced a unprecedented, citywide outpouring of grief and activism. For the community of students and staff at the Pacific Northwest College of Art the tragedies were particularly hard to accept because both Sparling and Jarolimek were students. Sparling was likely on her way to class when she was struck.
Later this month, PNCA will unveil the ‘Tracey Sparling Pedal Garden’, which will serve as a memorial to Sparling and, “an iconic bike-centric sculpture garden that supports and strengthens Portland’s cycling community.”
PNCA has worked for three years on the Pedal Garden project with a team of volunteers, artists and donors. In a thank-you to those who’ve contributed to the project, PNCA’s Dean of Students Michael Hall wrote, “Together, we have taken a horrendous tragedy, and created an iconic bicycle oasis that both celebrates PNCA’s bicycling community and stands in memory of student Tracey Sparling.”
Some elements of the Pedal Garden have already been installed and I rolled over yesterday to catch a glimpse…
The sculpture was designed and fabricated by David Boekelheide, a graduate of PNCA’s MFA program in Applied Craft and Design. Here’s more about it via PNCA:
“The Pedal Garden features wall-mounted racks covered by partial roof of translucent green leaves. The design uses “green” iconography to reinforce the environmental benefits of cycling and demonstrates PNCA’s commitment to design in support of a sustainable future. The College already has one of the city’s largest bike parking facilities. The Tracey Sparling Pedal Garden transforms a simple group of bike staples into an iconic memorial.”
The Pedal Garden is located in the bike corral on the west side of PNCA’s building in northwest Portland (13th and Johnson). Everyone’s invited to the dedication ceremony on January 25th at 11:30 am. See the event flyer below…
Learn more about the project here.