5 Questions: Ed Benavente

By Pamela Doan

Sculptor Ed Benavente created the Beacon Bicycle Tree in 2011 and the Bicycle Menorah in 2014.

Ed Benavente at the Beacon Bicycle Tree (Photo by Russ Cusick)

What inspired the tree and menorah?
Artists have a particular knack for making something out of nothing. Since there was no budget for a big public Christmas tree, I was able to use what I already had to make the first rendition. It was meager at best but we encouraged people to make their own ornaments out of recycled materials. Once the tree was established, it was a no-brainer to include a menorah.

Where did you get the bike parts?
The majority came from Peoples Bicycle on Main Street.

Where did you get the idea to use bicycles?
A bicycle is a machine powered by people, just like a community. Beacon has struggled through tough times. But ultimately it was the people who made an effort to bring new life and prosperity to the area.

Why did you become a sculptor?
I have always enjoyed physical work. Sculpture requires a certain amount of physical abuse that lets you know you are alive. Creating a work that can exist out-of-doors is particularly gratifying because it can coexist with the natural world and be “discovered” by the public.

Where do the tree and menorah go during the off season?
Santa’s helpers relocate everything to an undisclosed bicycle shop at the North Pole.

2 thoughts on “5 Questions: Ed Benavente

  1. Much gratitude to Ed Benevente, who contributes to the community in so many wonderful ways!

  2. Beacon is lucky to have many creative and wonderful citizens. And we are VERY lucky to have a mayor and City Council that recognize the beating heart of any successful community are the people who reach out and use their unique gifts to make their town welcoming and fun for all. Ed and his wife Betsy are two such people. With the help of city leadership and BeaconArts, Beacon continues to amaze and delight all who visit us. With luck that will be Beacon’s legacy for years to come.