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South Jordan Journal

Bike monsters invade daybreak

May 21, 2018 02:49PM ● By Keyra Kristoffersen

Big, metal bike monsters are taking over the Daybreak community. (LiveDaybreak)

By Keyra Kristoffersen | keyrak@mycityjournals.com 

The LiveDaybreak Community Arts Advisory Council has unveiled their latest project, a series of five “Bike Monsters” created by Fred Conlon of Sugar Post Metals.

“We realized we can make it a kind of fun family interactive thing,” said Rachael Van Cleave, chair of LiveDaybreak CAAC. “We thought we could make this an activity-based art piece that people could go around the neighborhood and try to search out all of the monsters.”

The LiveDaybreak CAAC was formed just over a year ago and uses a percentage of funds earmarked by the developer from the resale of commercial property to go toward art in the community. The committee was tasked with soliciting art submissions for things such as murals and sculptures and after posting a request for proposals with the Utah Arts Council, said Fred Conlon from Sugar Post Metals.

Conlon started out in pottery but transitioned to metal because of his desire to have pieces made from recycled materials that could last. His first piece was a turtle from an old army helmet, then came ladybugs, spiders and army ants also from old helmets. 

“I thought, people put some stupid things in their garden; I want to put cool things in my garden,” said Conlon. “So, I came up with the character called ‘The Gnome Be Gone.’” 

His little monster characters are posed to carry gnomes above their head in the act of casting them from the garden and help control their population as well as that of the pink flamingos. Conlon is most interested in using recycled materials such as old Army helmets, drill bits, nuts, bolts and old tools, and this desire caught the idea of the arts council.

“They were fun, edgy, and the recycled materials, that’s something that's kind of a pillar of LiveDaybreak, said Van Cleave. “We do a lot of green living; all of the homes are energy efficient here, and quite a few people have solar panels.

Conlon chose bicycle-riding monsters because of Daybreak’s extensive trail system, especially around the Oquirrh Lake and Founders Park where the five sculptures are located. He was able to get old bikes from Daybreak residents to take apart and include.

The head of each piece measures approximately 20 to 24 inches in diameter and the sculpture’s total heights are between 4 and 8 feet tall.

Conlon has a similar exhibit on a ski hill in Park City and hopes this project for Daybreak opens other opportunities, perhaps adding skateboarding, rollerblading or jogging monsters in the future. 

“I thought that was a neat concept because the Daybreak community was basically built on land once considered useless or uninhabitable,” said Conlon. “They had kind of a sense of whimsy and frivolity in an area that's otherwise mysterious and stoic.” 

Conlon is glad that instead of simply adding a bicycle statue silhouette, they chose something a little more animated and engaging for viewers, and it took just a couple of months from acceptance to installation.

“This is fun and whimsical and guaranteed to last,” said Conlon.

Sugar Post Metals is based in South Salt Lake, and Conlon and his apprentice not only create art for art shows and communities and sell in galleries like the Urban Arts Gallery at Gateway (137 South Rio Grande St.) but do a lot of work in hand railings and welding. Visit www.sugarpost.com for more info about upcoming work.

Van Cleave has a lot of projects on the horizon for the arts council and Daybreak community that will include more sculptures and murals like the Splash Pad mural project, which is currently accepting proposals.

“This is the first really big project that has come out, and we are hoping to get some more coming down the line throughout the year,” said Van Cleave.