Best unexpected public art | Pete Beerman's Gears | Out & About

Best unexpected public art

Pete Beerman's Gears

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7708 Burwell Street, Raleigh

If you've never had an occasion to visit the City of Raleigh Northeast Operations Center or the seemingly endless rows of commercial warehouses that surround it, you might consider yourself lucky—until you realize you've been missing four of Raleigh's best pieces of public art for two years. Installed in April 2014 by bicoastal sculptor Pete Beeman, these four colossal Gears are massive odes to industry, big enough to stand in and heavy enough to fear. Made alternately of concrete, weathered steel, and stainless steel, they look like discarded props from a Depeche Mode video. One is even a trellis for a billowing vine, which wraps around the metal in quiet defiance of might. At the edge of Durant Nature Preserve and Capital Boulevard's artery of sprawl, it's a perfect symbol of balance between greenery and machinery.

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