ArtsQuest and City of Bethlehem Seeking Artists for New Bike Rack Project on City’s SouthSide

The City of Bethlehem and ArtsQuest are seeking proposals from artists to design and build functional, artistically innovative bicycle racks that will be installed in SouthSide Bethlehem this summer. The Artist Designed Bike Rack Project, which kicks off with a call for submissions starting Feb. 1, will result in eight new bicycle racks strategically located throughout south Bethlehem in an effort to encourage people to bike, shop and dine on the SouthSide. Funding for the project is provided by County of Northampton through the Community Investment Partnership Program (CIPP).

“This bike rack project is integral to the downtown experience on the SouthSide,” says Bethlehem Mayor Bob Donchez. “In addition to enhancing public safety, this project will help to support small business owners and those who use alternative transportation to get around.”

Artists are invited to submit proposals for bike racks through March 5, with the winning designs announced March 15. All selected artists must then complete their racks by May 14, with the racks installed starting in mid-May. All submissions must represent a design of a fully functional bike rack, and each artist may submit up to three proposals.

Commissioned artists will receive a stipend of $2,000, intended to provide recognition of their work and financial support for purchasing materials needed to complete their project. Artists may partner with engineers, welders or builders to facilitate construction of the racks.

“Bethlehem’s SouthSide is a dynamic destination featuring wonderful shops, restaurants and galleries,” says ArtsQuest President and CEO Kassie Hilgert. “Adding these bike racks will continue to shine the spotlight on the emerging arts district in south Bethlehem, while encouraging people to visit the city throughout the year by highlighting its beauty, rideability and walkability. This project will also create an opportunity for some of our region’s many artists to showcase their talents and work to hundreds of people who will see these racks every day.”

As part of their application packages, artists must submit high-quality line drawings (in 8.5” by 11” format) of their work, along with a one-page artist’s statement about the design and the media. The statement should include a project narrative, proposed installation method, costs breakdown and proposed construction timeline. Artists should also submit a recent resume and photos of past art projects they have completed. Artists working or living in Bethlehem are encouraged to apply; however, submissions from artists from throughout the Lehigh Valley will be considered.

Winners will be chosen via a jurying committee comprised of representatives from the City of Bethlehem, SouthSide Downtown Manager, Coalition for Appropriate Transportation, Bethlehem Fine Arts Commission and ArtsQuest.

“The bike rack project exemplifies many of our goals for the Southside including the creation of a greener and more accessible downtown, as well as further engagement with local artists and
bringing art into the public space” says Dan Friedman, Southside Manager. “Ultimately, our hope is that the presence of the bike racks will provide visitors with a sense of what makes the Southside community special and inspires in residents a renewed sense of connectivity and civic pride.”

Proposed bicycle rack locations are:

  • 3rd & New Streets
  • 3rd & Pierce Streets
  • 4th Street & Broadway
  • 4th & New Streets
  • 4th & Vine Streets
  • Greenway & Taylor Street
  • 4th Street & 300 Block (Parham Park next to Touchstone Theater)

For complete information on the Art Designed Bike Rack Project, as well as the official application, visit