Some of the kinetic sculptures of Dr. Rodriguez are a permanent part of the "Art on the Atlanta BeltLine" public art exhibition.
Whirling Wheels (2012) is a spinning collection of windmills made from bicycle parts, designed to celebrate the freedom of movement the bicycle provides to everyone along the Atlanta BeltLine. Permanently installed in Midtown Atlanta along the BeltLine corridor near Greenwood Avenue, Whirling Wheels consists of five individual kinetic sculptures (the largest of which is pictured here). Click here to see it on YouTube!
Artist Bio: Dr. Alex Rodriguez spent a decade living near the BeltLine in Atlanta's Reynoldstown neighborhood, but recently moved further south (and still BeltLine adjacent) into Ormewood Park. He has no formal art training, but as evidenced by his choice of profession, he does have an exceptional understanding of structural engineering and technical beauty, with the ability to create long-lasting works with his hands. Dr. Rodriguez has also had a lifelong interest in all things related to cycling, and began creating functional art from used bicycle parts around 2001 when he was president of the cycling team at the University of Florida. He still rides often, including commuting by bicycle daily to his office in Inman Park. More...
Swirling Colors (2016) is a reboot of the 2014 Spinning Yarns art installation, but this time directly involving the local community in the creation of public art. On August 27th, 2016, nearly 40 BeltLine trail users of all ages left their mark on these giant pinwheels by spray-painting part of each pinwheel, resulting in unique artwork produced by the community that it serves. The sculptures were not only designed to entertain and amuse, but to make artwork with a personal connection to the BeltLine user. Some people spray-painted their initials, one couple played spray-paint tic-tac-toe, while others painted randomly.
Spinning Yarns (2014) was a series of four giant and colorful pinwheels, installed along the East Side Trail in a collaborative effort between Dr. Alex Rodriguez and "The Knitterati" (an eclectic group of knitters and crocheters). Working together, they created a series of whimsical sculptures to showcase their textiles in a unique and interesting way through Dr. Rodriguez' kinetic art. Spinning Yarns was de-installed in August of 2015 after a full year out in the weather to make room for artwork by other BeltLine artists.
Kaleidoscycle (2015) "Kaleidoscycle" is a kinetic sculpture made of bicycle parts and hand made glass, installed in the lobby of Inman Park Dentistry. An original design by Alex Rodriguez, done in collaboration with Creative Stained Glass Studio (Evergreen, CO), this piece is designed to calm and entertain with its slow, steady movement and changing patterns of light, colors, and shadows. For more details about this sculpture, from concept to final installation, go here.
Some of Alex Rodriguez' other creations:
Powered by the wind, this pair of bicycle-wheel windmills light up under their own power and are meant to be a symbol of the rapidly improving bicycle infrastructure in Atlanta. Two of these pieces are currently installed along the Atlanta BeltLine with views of midtown in the background. If you've never been on the BeltLine at night, it's time to take a ride along the Eastside trail! Click here to see it on YouTube!
In the late 1980's, CREST toothpaste sponsored a bicycle racing team, and now one of those CREST-branded bikes decorates the wall of Dr. Rodriguez' dental office. The unique mounting of the frame and wheels (without the spokes to connect them), helps to create the illusion of the bike floating free of the wall.
All Star Electric (2013)
A custom piece designed for an electrical services company in Oklahoma City, where the wind sweeping down the plains will surely keep this bicycle-wheel-windmill spinning non-stop for years! Click here to see it on YouTube!
Dental Weather Vane (2015)
A custom folk art weather vane for a dentist friend of mine. I made it as a thank you to him for selling me his business and giving me a great dental practice to build upon. Thank you Walter! Click here to see it on YouTube!
Boomer Sooner! (2015)
A custom folk art weather vane for my father-in-law. He's a big Oklahoma Sooner fan, and I'm sure this windmill will spin for years at his home in the dry air of Phoenix. The musical sound track to the video is a song called "Soft Winds of Oklahoma" by Bill Emerson. Enjoy! Click here to see it on YouTube!
This bicycle-wheel mobile hangs from the ceiling above his baby's crib in Dr. Rodriguez' home. A small motor spins it slowly, while a lullaby plays in the background, calming the child watching the serene motion. Click here to see it on YouTube!
One of his earliest kinetic pieces, this bicycle-wheel-windmill was built around the back end of an old Schwinn bicycle. When the wind blows, the chain drives the cranks around, spinning the pedals. This piece hangs from a massive pecan tree at a private home in Atlanta, spinning casually in even the slightest breeze.
Dr. Rodriguez is proud to have been a resident of the quirky Atlanta neighborhood of Reynoldstown for ten years, and this double-sided sign celegrates his time there. But this sign started life as the tail piece to one of his more typical bicycle-wheel windmills. That design had trouble catching enough wind to keep the sign illuminated for more than just a few minutes, so now it is powered through low-voltage landscape lighting, and automatically comes on when the sun goes down.
A tribute to his alma-mater, Dr. Rodriguez made this bicycle-wheel-windmill as a gift for his mother, and it has been hanging from a tree in her backyard for years. Made from an aluminum rimmed bicycle wheel, copper foil, stainless steel wire, and acrylic.
This privately commissioned piece was inspired by design elements that the customer brought to me: an abstract metal sun and moon sculpture on wood. But that original sculpture did not quite have the visual impact he was going for. So using those parts as inspiration, I created an original design for a kinetic sculpture that uses a bicycle-wheel as a windmill that would sit on top of a wooden post, similar to a weather vane, while still using the original sun and moon components. Because it was wind-driven, yet still had celestial theme, I titled it Aerospace. Heavily modified through the years by its owner, it now spins casually in the breeze in a California backyard.Click here to see it on YouTube!
Castine (2008) - Made as a wedding gift for one of Dr. Rodriguez college roommates, this bicycle-wheel-windmill has been entertaining their family for years as it spins non-stop through the worst of Maine's weather.
A gift for a friend whose family history owes a lot to the Blue Bird Bus Company, this bicycle-wheel-windmill has a clear tail-piece of acrylic, with only a simple outline in copper of that iconic Blue Bird logo. Hopefully it is still spinning along the shore of one of the Great Lakes.
National, state, and local coverage of Dr. Rodriguez' artwork:
- Associated Press: “New trail spurs interest in ex-Atlanta rail route” By Norman Gomlak. November 24, 2012.
- Associated Press: “Atlanta public art project draws hundreds of notes” By Norman Gomlak. December 2, 2012.
- GDA Action (Journal of the Georgia Dental Association) - November 2012, page 8.
- Freewheelin’ Magazine - “The BeltLine, Bicycles, and Bicuspids” October 2012, page 29.
- BURNAWAY - “Photos: Art on the BeltLine Features Its Most Dramatic Work Yet” By Lilly Lampe. October 11, 2012.
- Field Trips with Sue (blog series)- “Four Places to Cycle Atlanta with Kids” October 3, 2012.
- Bike Hacks.com - "'Kaleidoscycle Kinetic' Stained Glass Sculpture" December 22, 2015.
- Atlanta Trails.com - "Eastside BeltLine Trail: Atlanta BeltLine Running & Cycling" 2014.
- Saporta Report - Fostering a vibrant arts community key to making Atlanta an innovation hub. October 14, 2012.