It might be tagged as the monthly LoDa ArtWalk, but the Aug. 8 version is carrying a sobriquet that does more than amble. Welcome to the first ArtRide.
Thanks to Mobilians On Bikes (MOB) and a host of other entities, the two-wheeled will get a special highlight at a time of the year when a little leg-powered breeze helps in making the outdoors more tolerable. According to an email from local artist Kathy Friedline, the idea grew from a conversation she had with Mobile Arts Council (MAC) Associate Director Charlie Smoke last year.
Friedline wanted a show of bikes at the MAC gallery on Dauphin Street.
“Charlie proposed getting the other LoDa venues involved as well and having people out biking so that the cyclists themselves become part of the total experience for the other art patrons,” Friedline wrote.
For those who want to take things literally, lube up your chains get to Cream & Sugar Café (351-B George St.) in the late afternoon. A caravan of riders will leave there at 6 p.m.. bound for LoDa’s art venues.
Bike-related art will be the order of the day. MAC’s Skinny Gallery is on board with “MOB Art,” an exhibition of pieces in varied media by members of Mobilians On Bikes.
Identity Signs will partner with Optera Creative (5 N. Jackson St.) to feature “I am Mobile, I Ride a Bike.” The show features approximately 30 posters of local riders with brief descriptions of their identity and reasons for cycling. The point is to reflect the diversity of Azalea City cyclists.
Also participating will be Cathedral Square Gallery 612 Dauphin St.), Art(ology) (306 Dauphin St.) and Lunatix & Co. (662 Spring Hill Ave.; intersection of Spring Hill, Washington and Dauphin). The windows of the Fry Building on Dauphin will be featured the spoke-laden in their themes.
The Facebook page for the event claimed door prizes will be available along the bike route. Supporters can also go there to purchase T-shirts in support of the event.
The History Museum of Mobile has joined the motor-less gang. They will sport a display about the history of bicycling in Mobile, complete with vintage photos, old bikes and bike tools.
At the Delta Bike Project (561 St. Francis St.), several artists are hard at work on a community mural designed by Friedline.
Alongside the cycles, the mural depicts the Mobile-Tensaw Delta and the city skyline. It will be “unveiled” during ArtRide.
The mural has been an ongoing project since July 16 and involved more than one person’s endeavors. Volunteers have stopped by to help paint in the aquatic animal life, skyline and cyclists. Recently a group of Dearborn YMCA summer camp students were spotted with brushes in hand, dabbing and stroking tones under the direction of Friedline and Clare King.
Meanwhile, the University of South Alabama Bike Polo squad will stage an exhibition on Dauphin Street. Not only are they prepared to play for about three hours that night but they’ll have some extra bikes on hand for anyone who wants to give it a shot.
There will be a decorated bike trail organized by Rachel Burrows. Several of the venues will have specially decorated and/or painted bikes created by local artists and bike enthusiasts.
Friedline also included a shout-out to Todd Duren for his contributions. The cycling enthusiast, professor and graphic designer crafted the event’s logo.
The tour of cyclists that originated in Oakleigh will make the rounds and end the evening at Delvin Wilson’s new studio at 505 St. Louis St., where they’ll not only find a food truck but Wilson ready to entertain on his unicycle. The location should prove chummy as Koch Gallery is next door, but Portal Studio’s new location at 163 N. Lawrence St. is around the corner.
If people follow-through on their declarations, this could bloom into a regular thing. The event’s Facebook page has 51 riders committed and a couple handfuls on the fence.