Yesterday, while pedaling around Chattanooga for the afternoon, we came across a fascinating live gallery of artbikes gathered near the Chattanooga Aquarium. All of the bikes are student creations, sponsored by a local non-profit, Art120.
Art120: Benefitting art, education, and the community
Art 120 is a 501(c)3 organization created to provide funding for arts education, an
annual free arts event for the public known as an art car parade, and opportunities to connect the public to artists and art within about a 120 minute commute of
Chattanooga. Art 120 supports artists, arts related nonprofits, and their communities
by providing opportunities designed to foster a better understanding of visual art
by the public.
What was most inspiring for me was getting to talk to one of the young artists, Jack – creator of his wonderful bike-flight of fancy he calls “Jack Slays the Dragon” (I hope I got the title right, Jack?). Jack designed and constructed this great piece of moving artwork by himself (although he said he did have some help with the welding); he conceived the design, shaped the metal framework, and attached the wire/shredded plastic covering. And best of all … he looks awesome while riding it! Who wouldn’t want to ride a dragon?! (Video of several of the artbikes, including Jack on his dragon, being ridden through Coolidge Park, here.)
While Jack’s Dragon was really my favorite, there were a couple of other spectacular creations including the Swing-By-Bike, and the Bedframe Rat Rod (a nifty tandem built around an old bedframe).
I <3 bikes, of course … but I also love the creativity that they can inspire. I love to see people celebrating the art of the bicycle, and the limitless imagination of young minds. Applause to Jack and the folks at Art120.