Divvy bikesharing stations have become commonplace in Chicago, but a new art installation designed to evoke that image is turning a lot of heads.
The art installation, called “Chicago Gun Share Program,” depicts replicas of AR-15 guns that are locked into a rack similar to Divvy stations.
The display has signage like “unlock and load,” and also features a place for people to donate to the Brady Center, which advocates for stricter gun control legislation.
Another sign near the exhibit features statistics that compare gun laws in Illinois and Indiana, and points out that one in five guns used in committing crimes in Chicago actually comes from Indiana.
The art display sparked a wave of reaction from those that saw it, including 12-year-old tourist Omar Bahey Eldin.
“When you rent a bike it’s easy. It’s easy to just rent a gun and it’s easy to kill a person with it,” he said.
Even second-amendment advocates like Elgin resident Ray Weishaar understood the artist’s intent behind the piece.
“(It’s pointing out) the prevalence of guns and how easy it is to get them,” he said.
You can’t take the mock rifles off of the art piece, which will be on display until Wednesday, but those who have visited the site say that you will take away the artwork’s powerful message, whether or not you agree with it.
“Art should make people have a reaction,” tourist Lev Bratishenko said. “If it’s soft and cuddly, you’re not really thinking. This is a really serious topic.”