I asked Jim why the bats, how did you come up with the concept. He said it all began with the purchase of nine softball bats at a garage sale near his home. The next thing he asked himself was what do I do with them, well he let his artistic nature take over and soon came the play on words instead of 'Bats in the Belfry' he came up with 'Bats in your Bell Tree' and as they say the rest is history. The construction process takes about three months from start to finish. Typically the first month involves the creation and development of the concept. Month two brings materials list, cutting, and fitting of all the components. The third month is the construction and installation.
I also met Mr. Allan Tait from the Port District lending support for the various artist who would be setting up that day. I asked Mr. Tait the selection process and he was very accommodating. Artist from all over the country submit a concept and a 1/12th scale model of there urban tree. The Port District get approximately 120 entries, out of which only 30 are chosen. The contest is open to both amateurs and professionals. Once chosen each artist is give three months to make his or her concept come alive and agree to the 12 month exhibition at the Embarcadero. A very interesting fact Mr. Tait said was that he did not know of any other city in the country doing such a project. I would think most cities would try something like this.
The Port District pays each artist a small stipend to help with the materials for their urban tree after the 12 months each artist can sell there tree to the public.