Thursday, November 8, 2012

SRAM pART Project: New York

The big project of my summer was preparing for the SRAM pART Project in New York. The SRAM pART Project website is now up with pictures of all the works in the auction and biographical information about all the exhibiting artists.

The work will be exhibited and auctioned on November 29 at the Cedar Lake Theater in New York City. You can buy tickets for $268 (the cost of two bicycles). The event is a fundraiser for World Bicycle Relief. Apparently the work and the venue were both unharmed by Sandy and the event will proceed as planned.

I spent some time looking at some of the works by other artists. I think there is more variety this year than last. I suspect the requirements are a bit different than those for the Velo Village show as those works had fewer bike parts. The requirements for the New York show were simply to incorporate at least 25 of the provided bike parts. We received a box of parts. When I called with a question about some of the small parts, I was told that all the artists' boxes had the same parts, but looking at the works, I suspect that information was not entirely accurate. Many people included chains or links from chains. Obviously they could have added their own chain, but since so many included them, I'd guess that they were provided.

My work: SRAM Supported Botany

Looking at my work in company with the other works on the website, I feel confident. I think my piece looks like it belongs in the family of my usual work but it also incorporates the bike parts in a logical and interesting way. I think my work is well-crafted and visually interesting. I am, of course, biased, but  SRAM Supported Botany is one of my favorite works in the group.

Other Favorites
Below I have included my choices for the other strongest works in the show.

Jeffrey Van de Walker's SRAM Field Collection

I've always liked works that suggest ideas about scientific collections and scientific study. This piece makes me think of a 18th century cabinet of curiosity created by an eccentric explorer in a land of dinosaur cyborgs. I was thinking of cyborgs and the intersection between biology, technology and science fiction in my work as well. The piece makes me want to read a story about what is contained inside the box.

Elyse Harrison's The Bike Path

My favorite of the collage works (the prospectus indicated that we could make collage or sculptural works with the bike parts) are those that integrate the bike parts with the other media, rather than adding the bike parts onto the work. In fact, integration of materials is the main characteristic that I believe separates the strong work, both sculpture and collage, from the ordinary work in these shows. 

Clare Murray Adams' Hidden Assets

This work does an incredible job of both integrating the bike parts and having the parts "function" in the composition. I also like the tension and use of visual grouping and open spaces to create a composition that would work in any 2D media, not just in this mixed media relief.

Valerie Fanarjian's Circular Logic

The arrangement of this work is nice and pleasing, but what I particularly like is the use of semi-transparent papers, like tissue and dress patterns to transform the surface of the gears. At first I thought the metal was rusted or artificially aged, then I looked more closely at the large gears in the bottom center and recognized the patters in the paper. The transformation of surface texture interests me, especially given my previous use of mulberry paper to transform my surfaces.

Melissa Vandenberg's Aid Myths: Coming and Going

Interestingly, for a project that is expressly about charity and aid to developing nations, this is probably the only work that directly refers to charity and aid. I find the form visually interesting, but I would like to read or hear more about the artist's intent. She incorporates feed sacs, cowrie shells and a US flag. The piece reminds me of woven handicraft, a cornucopia, a seed pod and a damaged piece of mechanics all at the same time. This is one piece I would also like to see in person.

Lewis Tardy's Free Wheeling

Lewis Tardy won the top prize in the 2011 Chicago SRAM pART Project. The piece, Powerglide, was similar in approach Free Wheeling. In both Tardy transforms the rigid mechanical parts into a dynamically moving human form. I am impressed by the skill with which he combines the pieces to make a proportional and elegant body in motion.


  1. hello rachel. thank you so much for liking my piece circular logic... found this post while looking for the image. very kind of you... best, valerie

  2. thanks again.. they took down the SRAM art page and if it were not for this picture you took.. i would not have one..THANK YOU


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