Bike Art Finds its Cadence

Bikes, art, and recycling are regarded by some as the holy trinity of resilient communities. What more could one hope for?

Snow sculptures? Heaven. Giant owls hanging from trees? Rapture.

To bear witness, head to the gallery-in-a-store at Cadence Cycle to see Grind, an assemblage of bike-inspired and bike-recycled art.

Ken Anderson, local artist, master carver, and avid cyclist will be among the featured artists.

Anderson will show works in wood, metal, silkscreen, and a medium that he uses only occasionally — snow.

“It seems like snow-bikes are all the rage right now,” he says. “So I’m going to carve one out of snow. You can carve most anything and biking is one of my passions, so I get to roll them all together.”

Anderson has carved in a few snow competitions before. He likes the speed and scale that snow offers an artist.

“It happens really fast, and you can make some big stuff, so it’s fun that way,” he says. “You get a sense of the material; the different qualities of the snow makes you see different things.”

Tanya Handley, another well known illustrator and sculptor, appreciates the abundant materials available at the bike shop, which allowed her to create a large owl sculpture for the show.

Her office is located within a block of Cadence Cycle, and after seeing the piles of tubes and tires headed for rubber recycling, she asked for some.

“First I restrung my lawn chairs,” she says “Then I brought them home and started working on this owl to sit in this half dead tree outside of my house.”

The owl ended up being too big for the tree, due in part to the fact that tires are difficult to cut. Fortunately, art and bikes have a way of finding each other and this show became the right venue.

Handley hates to see waste of any sort, so having access to a large amount of free, interesting material allowed her to experiment in a way that her environmentalism sometimes does not permit.

“Normally, I don’t do things that I don’t think will work out because I don’t want to throw out some half-done thing that might not go well,” Handley says. “The tires were just headed for recycling anyway.”

Both Handley and Anderson see art as something that bridges private and public spaces. Anderson appreciates the role the bike shop plays as a community hub.

“I like the vibe of Dean’s bike shop,” he says. “With the gallery space it’s more like a community space. And I like it when art can be out in the open and enjoyed, not hidden away.”

Similarly, Handley has thoughts about using houses as a setting for art.

“My house and some others have sculptures on the outside, and that’s a good venue,” she says. “Houses are so boring on the outside, and so big. It’s a great place to put something big that everyone can enjoy.”

The show also includes work by Paul and Jeanine Baker, whose son works at the bike shop.

Recycled bike components are used in Paul’s assembled metal sculptures, while Jeanine’s glass works explore a biking theme. Kathy Piwowar’s mixed media paintings, and other small paintings by Nicole Bauberger, the gallery curator, also adorn the bike shop.

The Grind art show is open noon to 6 p.m. Wednesday to Saturday until Feb. 1 at Cadence Cycle, 508 Wood Street.

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