Art helps to open new dimensions on life and brighten up the world for all of us. If you’re a cyclist, you might have definite ideas on what types of art you would like to enjoy. The bike artists don’t always rake in the bucks like the big name players, but offer a fun glimpse of an important pastime and sport for us all. They need our support as much as we need their creativity.
My wife brought me into the world of art when we met. Sure I was creative in many ways, reworking a bike and making modifications to suit my needs has always been easy for me. Crafting a flying model airplane has been a long joy in my life. Souping-up econo-cars with turbochargers and suspension mods filled many days of my youth. These were functional kinds of art that helped mold my life and interests. Now the creation of fine art helps to round out my thinking and actions.
In many ways, the act of making art is much like that of riding a bike. You are fully conscious of your surroundings, but off in a world of your own. This Zen like state of mind is so needed in the everyday world. We all have to deal with life’s tough times. The creation of art and the places your mind wander during that time can trigger a joy and happiness that bridges the gap between a smile and a frown. Viewing art can do the same for your inner piece of mind. We need art, and bike art is the cat’s meow for people like us.
As members of the San Diego Art Department, we are constantly working with paints, glass, and other media to create our own personal masterpieces. It is a fantastic place that is opening the doors of so many peoples’ creativity. With art classes and monthly shows, they are a local gem. The vibe there will bring out your inner feelings and allow you to experience your chance to become an artist. I know it has for me.
You may have seen my recently competed mosaic of a Schwinn head tube emblem in a photo from another post here on my blog. If you made it to one of our recent bike parties (to celebrate a couple leaving on a cross-country bike ride), you got a chance to see some of my paintings of bicycle subjects. At a ’Art at the Bay’ show, my penny farthing built from and in a electric power meter was in the running for a large prize (I earned an honorable mention).
I also use planes, music, fish, and trains as my subject matter, but bikes seem to be my number one result as I ply my artistic skills. We also collect art work done by friends and local artists. We even have a few shelves filled with cool bike models. Some of these are factory made, but others have been hand crafted in very unusual ways. My wife and I enjoy having bike art surrounding our lives. I even keep a few of our coolest bikes in the house displayed as art.
On this week’s Taco Tuesday ride, we met a bike artist that will be included in a big bike art show coming up this month. He had some great pieces on display, including t-shirts with some of his art on them. David, (he goes by the name Sykkel), was fun to talk to as we viewed his offerings. His site is called Brake Free Clothing. He loves the San Diego bike scene, and has a great bike to do it on. Most of his art is quite striking and everyone at the ride scoured the selection of pieces to find just the right one to show off their style. You can see the link to his website below, and for the Bicycle Art Show here on March 16th and 17th.
Another local bike artist we really like is Jere Dean. He is a graphic artist during the day, and has his own studio where his personal creations are brought to life and offered to the bike riding public. Many of his images are worth the trip to have a look and we really enjoy his bi-yearly shows that high-light his newest works. He too transfers some of the neater images to t-shirts, but you can get originals and prints too. Jere and his wife are new parents, and that has inspired him to a great line of bike oriented kids wear. Check the link below, Urban Octopus is the name of his shop.
Other places in San Diego to see and purchase bike art include the Cardiff Bike Shop. A wide variety of vintage, new and other types of bike art are displayed in their shop. There is one artist in particular that fills the walls, but with such a great selection, they come from many different artists. Once again, much of the art I see when I visit are the bikes themselves. It is a must visit location here in San Diego for any bike lover. Look back to a previous article here for more on this classic local bike shop.
Ivan Stewart’s Electric Bike Center is also a art gallery of sorts. Not that much in the bike art direction, but the walls feature a local artist who keeps quite busy. He rotates his art between many locations, so a monthly visit there will always find you with new pieces to enjoy. Plus you can buy or rent a electric bike there too. Art and bike riding, what a great concept.
With a free admission, you should consider going to the Bicycle Art Show here in town. It will run two nights, March 16th and 17th. It promises to have a great selection with many artists and vendors to choose from. It will be at the Park Gallery and you can find the link at the bottom of this post. The flyer shows artists from many states will be included. Plus, I always enjoy the parade of art that are the bikes the riders show up on. At any of our bikes rides, I can gaze for a long time at the cool collections of colors, style, and makes of the bikes in our group. That is my kind of show too. See you there.
So, whether you ride it, paint it, or collect it, make some bike art of your own, Turbo Bob.
“Think of bicycles as rideable art that can just about save the world.”—Grant Petersen
San Diego Art Department
Brake Free Clothing
Ivan Stewart’s Electric Bike Center
Cardiff bike Shop and Art Gallery
Bicycle Art Show