Finding Stapleton

Finding Stapleton Evolution of a Neighborhood

Introducing the next article in a series of stories about the evolution of Stapleton – from how we got here to what’s next. Enjoy this compilation of articles from industry experts, Realtors, long-time residents and others!

A Blog Series

By John Chambers

Interactive Marketing Manager, Forest City Stapleton (now Brookfield Properties)

Every place has its story. Jerry Simpson found Stapleton’s during a few cold months last winter.

The local artist created a bike sculpture to express the community’s personality.

“I just let it roll around in my head for a while, and pretty soon, I jumped on it. It just had to be a bicycle … so I went on the internet and started to look at images of old-fashioned bicycles,” he said. “I found a photo of this old Schwinn ‘Black Phantom.’ I blew that up and printed it off to be 40 inches wide.”

Simpson later found parts to build the bike and attached other found objects to make the sculpture come together – everything from old bottle caps and license plates to dice and toys.

And he didn’t have to go far. Simpson has been dropping into thrift shops and dumpsters for decades, collecting objects to shape into art at his home studio.

“I’ll go into the yard and find an object …,” Simpson said. “I surround my studio with tons of stuff that inspires me. Sometimes I sit down and do a drawing of what I want the piece to look like, but most of the time I go with my first idea.”

Stapleton’s brand agency, Strada, commissioned the Stapleton bike sculpture.

“They had me over there for a short meeting … they didn’t give me too much direction, but just said it had to be an old bike,” he said. “They wanted me to go in my own direction; they said, ‘just do Jerry.’”

Now, the finished piece speaks to Stapleton’s love of cycling. Of exploration. And of fun.

“My artwork has a lot of humor. I did a lot of humorous illustrations after I started out in advertising in ‘64 …,” Simpson said.

And his love of art blossomed at a young age.

“I was born in ‘40. In grade school, my easiest subject was art,” Simpson said.

“I’ve been doing art all my life.”


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