The story behind the large carrots lining Pearl Road in Cleveland

Published: Dec. 13, 2017 at 5:43 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 14, 2017 at 9:27 AM EST
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CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Some people have started to ask questions about a public art display on Pearl Road in the Old Brooklyn neighborhood in Cleveland.

They appear to be performing carrots in various positions atop very tall unicycles.

All total there are eight of them that have sprouted up from the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo entrance on Pearl down to State Road split.

It's the work of Melissa Daubert and she calls it, "Root Riders."

The project actually points to the history Old Brooklyn has as major growers.

"During the late 1880s, farmers in Old Brooklyn were among the first in the Midwest to use greenhouses to cultivate vegetables," Daubert explained. "By the 1920s the neighborhood was one of the nation's leading producers of green house vegetables, with more than 100 acres under glass."

The progress of the 1960's saw a housing boom and the Jennings Freeway wipe out the greenhouses in Old Brooklyn.

"Root Riders" is not just a nod to the past but also acknowledges a current movement Daubert said.

"Fast forward to today, food is profoundly important to us," Daubert explained. "We see a resurgence of people cultivating their own gardens, raising chickens and honeybees right in their own back yards. So much so that new terminology "Urban Farming" has surfaced.

The project was commissioned by LAND (Landscape Art Neighborhood Development) Studio and installed in late October.

The carrots are playful and imaginative and meant to spark something in you along the streetscape of Old Brooklyn.

"My goal is that the imagery of these giant vegetables along Pearl Avenue brings to mind nature, growth or possibly 'what will I prepare for dinner tonight?' Daubert said.

Daubert has completed several public art projects as well as a long time position with the Great Lakes Science Center.

Working on several displayed at the Science Center, Daubert sited her "Port Polymer" project as her most notable, which is an outdoor water exhibit for children.

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