Wheely Inspiring Art Project Rolled Out on Fordham Road
By David Greene
BRONX- The spinning wheels inside a young artist’s mind and the wheels from vintage wagons discovered across the Bronx, collided at the intersection of Fordham Road and the Grand Concourse-- creating an unusual work of art that will be on display until next spring.
Welder and artist Colin Nicodemo, 44, of Cold Spring, N.Y., was beaming with pride during the unveiling of his project titled, "All Roads Lead to Fordham" a 10-foot high, hand-welded circular shaped statue.
Nicodemo was surrounded by family members and members of the Fordham Road Business Improvement District (BID), at the unveiling held at the southern side of the East Fordham Road Overpass on the Grand Concourse, on September 14.
Working with the BID and the New York City Department of Transportation's Art Program, Nicodemo explained, "We had this concept that was Fordham Road and the importance of transportation and meshing that together and coming up with a piece that people can look at and give appreciation to however they see fit.”
Nicodemo scoured through junkyards and flea markets across the borough to find vintage wheels of old wagons and carts and welded them together, creating his unique urban art project.
The artist, who spent a good deal of his childhood visiting family on Conners Street, said of his discovered wheels, "I didn't do anything to them but drill holes. I got them from different junk yards and flea markets. The gears are from an antique shop.”
The humble artist added, "This is my other home and I'm proud to be here. This means a lot.”
According to Daniel Bernstein, the deputy director of the Fordham Road BID, who explained, "This project has been in the works since 2015... We've actually done a lot of projects like this in the past. What we do is partner with the Department of Transportation's Art Program. What they do is kind of select hot spots throughout the city, where they want to see art.”
Bernstein continued, "Fordham Road wasn't one of them, but we made sure that it was, because we feel like it should have more art because we're known for just clothing stores and retailers and things like that.”
With the BID having participated in public art exhibits on the Grand Concourse for the last 10 years, Bernstein added, "He really had a great idea for something that would center around Fordham Road; just generally the traffic that we get, the accessibility that runs through here, and that's really what this piece is all about. The wheels are really from all different times, over the years, which he really wanted to get across to everybody.”
The Fordham Road BID is a non-profit corporation under contract with the City of New York to "provide supplementary services to the community," focusing on sanitation, beautification, promotion and overall advocacy for the Fordham Road area. For more information of the Fordham BID, visit their website at: www.Fordhamroad.nyc.
The NYC DOT Art Program was launched in 2008, and creates temporary art installations as they partner with community based organizations and artists that create murals, sculptures and performances in public spaces, such as plazas and bridges around the city.
For more info on the citywide program visit the DOT art website at: www.nyc.gov/dotart.
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