Since Apr. 2010, when I first launched our rolling series on outdoor bike art work, there has been a recurring theme whenever the image of a cyclist
is interwoven into art: fun, play, freedom and oneness with nature and companionship. No wonder why images of cyclists, young and old, are often tucked in outdoor art work installed on schools. I featured some art work in a previous bike art blog post, but now here’s more.
A comic figure of an older gentleman on his fixie pink bike is featured in one of the art panels at Tweedsmuir Elementary School in New Westminister, BC. Elsewhere on the same school, a smiling carefree (Oops, nearly misspelled as car-free.) woman cyclist cruises along while balanced on her saddle with an ice cream cone in one hand.
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Elsewhere in Burnaby at Kitchener Elementary School, is bike art work of a cycling racer emblazoned with flashy multicultural and multi-faith badges. This cyclist has no need to assimilate and hide among cars or in the landscape. Whereas in the mural mounted at Eagle Head Elementary School, a bike is nearly hidden by beach grasses and driftwood among beach strollers and a soccer player.
At times, the cyclist is part of a much bigger landscape mural. At Victoria Dr. where it crosses near the Ridgeway bike route in Vancouver, there are two different cyclists heading in various directions against a ridge of mountains and the Vancouver skyline. Happily one of the cyclists, will haunt a spinner’s favourite stopover –a bakery.
More bike art, in the shape of mandalas, was recently installed along the planters at the community gardens on the front lawn of Vancouver city hall.
The art work was created from city sponsored 2010 summer art program in the Mount Pleasant area for residents and the homeless. The Cycleback Art Outreach Program was led by effusive Jamie Ollivier who cycled around on his recumbent bike, with art supplies to community centres and parks to deliver his program to adults, teens and children as well as the homeless. The bike art work is a fitting flourish for the community gardens and for Mayor Robertson’s vision of Vancouver as Greenest City, since he was a farmer and still a long time, daily bike commuter between home and city hall.
Bikes and community gardens are really not so far apart. Vancouver’s bike routes are close to many community gardens. There is even a map that helps you check out some gardens by bike. Like sustainable living, eating and travelling, bike art feeds us memories and dreams of unchained bliss.
Note: There are now over 50 different outdoor bike art works in Metro Vancouver. Other bike art pieces are featured in articles below.
Chong, Jean. Bike Inspired Outdoor Art. Third Wave Cycling Blog. Apr. 29, 2010.
Chong, Jean. Stripping More Metaphorical Wallpaper to Rediscover Outdoor Public Bike Art in Vancouver and beyond. Part 2. Third Wave Cycling Blog. Aug. 24, 2010.
Chong, Jean. Stripping More Metaphorical Wallpaper to Rediscover Outdoor Public Bike Art in Vancouver and beyond. Part 3. Third Wave Cycling Blog. Sept. 6, 2010.
City of Vancouver. Community Garden Walking and Cycling Tours. (Self-Guided with map.)
Steil, John. Public Art in Vancouver: Angels Among Lions: 500+ Works of Art to Discover. http://www.johnsteil.com