247 Lark Street
Albany NY 12210
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Dream Wheels – Art of and about the Bicycle
GETTING THERE – Next to walking, bicycling is the purest form of transportation yet developed. For only by reducing locomotion to its most basic from do we re-join the environment and the society from which we have pulled ourselves over the last 100 years.
WHY? – While many cities have yet come to realize it, part of their salvation as communities lies in their "bike-ability." Daily, thousands of (unhealthy and frequently overweight) commuters stream into and out of Albany, Troy, and Schenectady to the surrounding residential areas. Increasingly, too, commuting occurs between the outlying areas, with people only entering the city for cultural events, recreation, or to do other business. Even in 2008, all road planning is still auto-centric. Projects are currently being planned that either will preclude safe cycling or will actively discourage new cyclists from certain key commuter routes.
THE EXHIBIT – The overlap between the arts and bicycling is not limited to cross membership, but to their underlying intent – to connect with one's fellows through expression and connectivity. When we ride from point A to B, our primary intent may be "getting there." Yet, while doing so, we necessarily interface with other travelers (or observers) and with the architectural, vegetative, or structural "ground" that lies between origin and destination. So too the artists: the intent may be to complete an envisioned piece, but in doing so, one presents ideas and feelings to those around him and, by their response, connects with them.
Why then "Dream Wheels"? Well, the wheels come first, if only to connect the idea to the essence of locomotion. The "dream" is the artist's interpretation. How can one express ideas, feelings, or just technique using some aspect of the bicycle or the bicycle culture as a launch point? How will viewers (or experiencers) of the art react? Will they grow from the interaction? Will artists be able to communicate the need for our society to re-engage with itself? Will visitors to the exhibit carry away a feeling of reinforcement (if they are riders) or the germ of a new idea (if they are not)?
NUTS & BOLTS – By calling for submission of art for "Dream Wheels," the Upstate Artists Guild's hopes to continue its goal of connecting various social movements or positions with the arts. Hopefully, those who ride but who "do not do art" will be drawn closer to those "who do art, but don't ride." Those who are in both groups will enjoy the whole experience.
FEATURED ARTIST – The featured artist, Taliah Lempert, maintains her studio in Brooklyn. She brings her version of the union between riders and artists to the exhibit. As an artist, she has dedicated herself to preserving what is so important to the bicyclists and has created beautiful images in the process. As she herself says, "the bicycles that catch my eye and come into the studio open a door to new communities, people, and experience. My paintings are my framework to see the world. I paint bikes that are part of someone's life, or have been, or are intended to be – the bike they ride around, race, [and] present themselves with."
As a cyclist, Taliah is part of a core group of racers who compete regularly at the concrete Kissena Velodrome in Flushing and the many Alley Cat races put on by the city's active bike messenger community. She also uses her bicycle as a primary transportation.
CONNECTIONS – During the three weeks of the exhibit, there will be a number of tie-ins with bicycle-related activities. These include the local Ride of Silence on May 21. This ride commemorates those bicyclists who have died in accidents and encourages awareness by all road users to the vulnerability of bicyclists and pedestrians. An urban ride is planned to start at the Upstate Artists Guild gallery on May 2, opening night. (There also related "urban rides" planned for Schenectady's Art Night (May 16) and at Troy Night Out (May 30).) The exhibit will be open during Albany's premier cultural event, the annual Tulip Festival held in the city's historic Washington Park, just a few minutes walk from the Upstate Artists Guild gallery (May 9-11). See below for a full schedule.
SUPPORTED ORGANIZATION – Proceeds from fund raising at the opening of "Dream Wheels" on May 2, 2008 will be split between the Albany Bicycle Coalition (ABC) and the New York Bicycle Coalition (NYBC). ABC promotes bicycling issues in Albany and the Capital District and host rides and other bike-related activities. NYBC is a statewide organization that promotes legislative change to support "bike-ped" issues and offers educational programs on safe cycling. ABC and NYBC coordinate on many activities.
FULL SCHEDULE OF RELATED EVENTS
May 1st-31st: "Let's Celebrate Bike Month!" Poster Contest for kids. Submissions accepted 5/1/-5/28; awards ceremony 5/31 during bicycle safety education class at Guilderland Public Library (see 5/31 entry below). Co-sponsored by the Guilderland Public Library and Altamont Free Library. Free and open to all children ages 4-17 throughout the Capital District. Prizes & giveaways sponsored by Plaine and Son and the Mohawk Hudson Cycling Club.
Friday, 5/2: 5:30-9PM: Urban Ride & Grand Opening of "Dream Wheels" exhibit at UAG Gallery, 247 Lark St., Albany. http://upstateartistsguild.org/DreamWheels (show runs 5/2-5/23). Proceeds benefit NYBC and the Albany Bicycle Coalition. Urban ride departs at 5:30pm from Civil War Memorial in Washington Park (intersection of Henry Johnson Blvd. & State St.). 12 mile route featuring ABC's Albany Bike Map and proposed bike routes; returns to UAG gallery for Grand Opening Gala.
Sunday, 5/4: 10:00A.M.-3:00PM: Free "Open House" Day and BBQ at SMBA Trails. Team LUNA Chix of Upstate NY and the Saratoga Mountain Bike Association (SMBA) will be co-hosting several mountain bike rides throughout the day for various ability levels on the SMBA trails in Saratoga Springs. [NOTE: you are not required to be a SMBA member to attend this event.] Beginners, intermediates, and experts all welcome and encouraged to attend. For more information, visit www.saratogamtb.org or contact email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monday, 5/12: MHCC presents "Warm up for Bike to Work Day" Ride. Check your legs and practice your commuting route with the added benefit of increased safety in numbers that fellow cyclists can provide. Meet at 5:30pm at CDTA Delmar Park & Ride (intersection of Route 32 & 52, Delmar) for 13 mile round-trip venture from Delmar to Empire State Plaza in downtown Albany. Ride departs at 5:45pm. See www.webmhcc.org or contact email@example.com for more details.
Tuesday, 5/13: 9AM-10:30AM: Legislative Breakfast. 10:30AM-11:30AM Ride Around the Capital. LOB Room 211A. Similar to the League of American Bicyclist's National Bike Summit, this is an opportunity to hear about the latest state legislation pertaining to bicyclists and pedestrians. There will be time to interact with your local representatives; following the breakfast, there will be a short ride around the Capital and the downtown Albany area. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday, May 9th
5:00-8:00PM: "Tune Up Your Bike Night" and Free Repair Clinics at Troy Bike Rescue, 15 Trinity Place, Albany, NY 12202. For more information, call 518.986.2256, email email@example.com, or visit www.troybikerescue.org.
Wednesday, 5/14: 5:30pm-8:00pm: Bicycle Rodeo for Kids and Families. Free bike safety checks and helmet giveaways for children; one child's bike will be donated to recipient of "Citizen’s Award," chosen by Boys & Girls Club (B&GC). Location: Boys & Girls Club, 400 Craig Street, Schenectady. Co-sponsored by Plaine and Son and the B&GC of Schenectady.
Thursday, 5/15: 5:00pm: Commuter Contest: car vs. bus vs. cyclist. Location: Starbucks to Starbucks (downtown Albany to Stuyvesant Plaza). Fabulous prizes & swag sponsored by Steiner's Sports. For more information, visit www.nybc.net or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Friday, 5/16: Bike to Work Day. 4 staging areas with mapped routes and bicycle escorts to downtown Albany; "commuter buddy" program offered to cyclists in the area who choose not to ride alone. Co-sponsored by Downtown Albany BID. For more information, visit www.nybc.net or email email@example.com.
7:00pm: Film showing of "Contested Streets" at Guilderland Public Library (2228 Western Ave., Guilderland, NY 12084). Brief Q&A and discussion to follow. Free and open to the public. Co-sponsored by GPL & NYBC.
Saturday, 5/17: 10am-3pm: LCI "Savvy Cyclist" Road I Class. Location: University at Albany, 1400 Washington Ave., Albany, College of Arts & Sciences Bldg. Room 123. Instructors: Claire & Bert. This course is offered free of charge and brought to you by NYBC and a grant from the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org by Thursday, May 15th to reserve a space.
Wednesday, 5/21: 6pm: Ride of Silence (Albany). Start location: Corning Preserve. www.rideofsilence.org Organizers: Sue Troll and Claire Nolan. Email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
Saturday, 5/31: 10:30am-12:30pm: Safe Cycling for Kids (and Their Parents) Workshop. Guilderland Public Library. Winners of Bike Month poster contest announced and prizes distributed. Fun for the whole family! For more information, contact Jennifer Ogrodowski, Guilderland Public Library, at (518) 456-2400, ext. 34, email@example.com or Judith Wines, Altamont Free Library, (518) 861-7239, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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