Parking Meter

Totem Project 2008


BASWA requested the removal of parking meters in our commercial district in 2006. The parking meters were lopped off, leaving a dozen or more beheaded posts dotting our sidewalks. After learning of a similar project undertaken in Syracuse, BASWA put out a call for art, seeking designs for sculptures that could sleeve over the posts and also function as bicycle racks. We received 42 submissions, and 8 designs were selected. The artists have now installed them along South Avenue between Sanford Street at Hickory Street. Each artist received a $500 stipend made possible by funding provided by the Arts Council of Greater Rochester and BASWA.


Robert Marvin

"Something Moore"


Bruce Fernandez

"Bottle Glass"


Wendy Rust

"Blue Heron"


Matthew Crane



Ben Rubin


Lisa Chentfant & Kristin Nolan


James Borders

"Wheat" and "Obelisk"

Photos of Wheat and Obelisk Coming Soon

The Business Association of the South Wedge Area seeks to commission eight (8) sculptural artworks that will be sited over defunct parking meter posts along South Avenue in the South Wedge neighborhood. The artwork must also be functional, in that it must also serve as a bicycle rack or lock up for one or two bicycles.


This project is similar in scope to an initiative launched in Syracuse NY. In 2006, Downtown TNT of Syracuse community members partnered with the Cultural Resources Council, the Downtown Committee, Syracuse University, and the Armory Square Association to commission ten (10) new pieces of public art called Totems.  These unique sculptures sleeve over defunct parking meter posts on blocks where the City replaced meters with Parking Pay Stations.  All ten (10) have been selected and one (1) has been donated; they can be seen on the Public Art page of the Downtown Committee’s website

The Business Association of the South Wedge Area (BASWA) has elected to initiate this similar program to enhance our commercial district and add visual interest and functionality to the defunct parking meters along South Avenue in the City of Rochester. The initiative will also utilize local artists and give them opportunity to showcase their talent in public spaces. We have elected to take the project one step further to create functional art that can serve as bicycle racks for the community. With this added feature, the public will have the opportunity to interact with the art.


Parking Meter Totems Project Request For Proposals

Please click the link above for detailed information and the application for submissions.


¨  February 15, 2008: Postmark deadline for application materials & design submissions.

¨  Feb-Mar 2008: Review Panel meets to review materials and choose finalists

¨  March 31, 2008: Eight artists’ designs selected, artists will be notified by mail.

¨  May 1, 2008: Artwork must be completed and ready for photographs.

¨  May 2008: Installation of artwork by artist in conjunction with DES.

¨  Stipends paid at time of delivery & installation.






Syracuse Totems