Dancing Flagpoles - CODAworx

Dancing Flagpoles

Submitted by Richard Burns

Client: B.O.B. Art Prize Competition

Location: Grand Rapids, MI, United States

Completion date: 2011

Artwork budget: $25,000

Project Team


Richard Burns

Industry Resource

Jon Hosford

Hosford and Co.

Industry Resource

Alro Steel


The kinetic sculpture “Dancing Flagpoles” was created for the 2011 Art Prize Competition at the venue – B.O.B. in Grand Rapids. The sculpture was fabricated during the summer and completed late August 2011. It was erected with a crane the first day of the competition and was on display for the next three weeks.


The focus for the artist's artwork has been from the outset the idea of motion. During his Masters work, he began investigations and to this day, he designs objects that "react" to their environment. These flag poles are counterweighted with 95 lb of steel to allow them to balance vertically - the wind can move the flag poles freely since the discs balance on a fine edge and can tip and turn, reacting with the wind.


The artist collaborated with a friend who runs a fabrication shop in Ann Arbor. He took the idea about a bearing disc within the flag pole and made it happen. His expertise in welding and metal machining as well as design ideas greatly helped to build the sculpture. Additionally the Alro metal company laser cut the arc, supplied two steel rings with rounded edges, and these parts were supplied flawlessly, so the artist was able to weld with little prepping and completed the work on time. The artist disassembled it after the competition and returned materials to his shop for storage. This piece is available for future installations upon request.

Additional Information

The sculpture consists of a welded steel column, 13' tall, with a slot at the top to accept a 1" think arc 8' across with a 3/4" thick steel rings 16" diameter, welded to both ends - horizontally. The column is anchored to a poured foundation or concrete slab through a bolt plate. The bottom of the column and arc are secured with bolts to attach to the column at the top. With flagpoles erected, the sculpture stands 31' tall and 10'x 6" wide. The tapered flagpoles are 20' long.