Arts and Entertainment

‘Flat Tire’ installed on Centennial Trail

Lance Carlson, of Everett, installs his sculpture,  “Flat Tire,” on the Centennial Trail behind Legion Park in downtown Arlington recently. - Sarah Arney
Lance Carlson, of Everett, installs his sculpture, “Flat Tire,” on the Centennial Trail behind Legion Park in downtown Arlington recently.
— image credit: Sarah Arney

A rusty old bike is the latest addition to the city of Arlington’s art collection.

It’s not your average rusty old bike, however.

A sculpture created by north Snohomish County artist Lance Carleton, “Flat Tire” is made of found metal objects, highly polished and coated with a glistening surface. It is big and strong, but it doesn’t roll.

The sculpture was purchased by the Arlington Arts Council with funds from last year’s Fall into Art Auction and two concerts presented by the AAC in February and March this year at the Byrnes Performing Arts Center at Arlington High School.

The treasurer of the AAC, Jean Olson, sees irony in the title of a bicycle with tires that will never go flat.

“Lance’s title may be a euphemism for what happens when you get a flat tire — you stop,” Olson said. “And you fix the flat.”

But she said, “In this case, the tires won’t go flat, but you do stop, and it will fix what’s wrong because momentarily you’re a kid again.”

“Flat Tire” gives you a carefree, let-me-get-on-and-ride feeling of childhood, Olson said.

“Go see it today, it’s phenomenal,” Olson said, noting that its just the latest in an impressive sculpture collection.

A representative from the city’s parks department who helped Carleton install the piece, Kent Pruitt said he likes the sculpture because he can tell what it is.

City Councilwoman Sally Lien feels the same way. When a photograph of the installed sculpture was distributed at the June 1 City Council meeting, she expressed a similar thought.

“At least I can tell what it is,” Lien said.

The sculpture will be dedicated at the AAC’s Artist Reception on Aug. 27, along with the labyrinth designed by Sarah Hegge that was installed last summer and now has grass, trees and a plaque, and Harry Engstrom’s second mural on Olympic Hill that was just recently completed.

A metal worker by trade, Carleton has been creating using found materials in his art for many years. He shows his art in outdoor sculpture collections across the western states and in local shows such as the Mothers Day Tour on Camano Island. He has loaned one piece to the Maryhill Museum of Art for its outdoor sculpture exhibit this year.

“I am honored to have my work in Arlington’s collection,” Carleton said.

“Arlington has an impressive collection of public art and I am glad to be a part of it.”

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