Bike Art @ NE Minneapolis Altered Esthetics through June 28


Altered Esthetics’ group show, Bike Art, brings the work of close to 50 artists and cyclists together in an engaging juxtaposition. The exhibit is sizeable, with more than 100 works of art capturing every conceivable element of the cyclist genre. Featuring a wide array of mediums—from sculpture, photography and painting, to live performance, comics, multi-media and collage, the show has something for everyone. Work covers each well-worn wall and hallway. Viewers should allow plenty of time to examine and enjoy each piece in the gallery’s comfortable environment. It’s a great way to support your local artist-run gallery, while getting an eyeful of some incredible and diverse art.

Most of the Bike Art artists are local, although there are a couple of inclusions from Canada. Mankato artist Beau W. Layman uses his artistic eye and talent to turn scrap into sculpture. Built of recycled bicycle metal, Layman welds pieces together that would normally be tossed in the trash. In his artist statement he describes his vision, “My life is surrounded by the amazing objects that people throw away … my entire life is somehow touched by bicycles.” His sculptures are whimsical and, though made of re-used bike parts, possess an elegance that makes them appealing. For example, the curvature of the scrap parts used in ReCYCLIST effectively creates a feeling of movement and direction—almost as if the piece was made from one continuous ribbon of metal.

Cesia Kearns combines collage and illustration to depict lively costumes for the play 10-Speed Revolution by Walking Shadow Theatre Company. The characters Max, Anna and Jake grin sardonically from their poses, and the colorful collage segments have you leaning in to read more. 10-Speed Revolution tells the story of how these three fight mercenaries, the city council and nefarious corporations when their bicycle is stolen. The play features music by Twin Cities punk bands, and will be showing at Altered Esthetics during Art-A-Whirl, May 19–21.

Bike Art wouldn’t be complete without a nod to beloved bicycle messengers everywhere. Gary Hopmayer’s Different Spokes photographs depict Chicago-based messengers in their natural habitat. The bikers are as diverse as their backgrounds and it’s interesting to imagine the many things that they’ve seen and done. Documents of biographical bits are displayed between the photographs and are just as interesting to read as the candid photos are to look at.

Another photographer worth noting is artist Phillip Barron. Taken with black and white pinhole photography, his pieces show solitary bicycles in various settings that are beautiful and ethereal. At the other end of the spectrum, Minneapolis-based cartoonist Roger Lootine’s Bike Comics are displayed in a handful of humorous poster-sized illustrations. Lootine is best known for his socio-political comic series, “Residue,” which ran in Pulse for several years.

An artist/community-run gallery, Altered Esthetics is located in a funky converted warehouse space in Northeast Minneapolis. Look for the freestanding garden arch in front of the doorway. A portion of the sales for each show is donated to a charity working in an area relevant to the exhibition. Funds from Bike Art will be donated to Bolder Options, a Minneapolis-based program that connects at-risk youth with mentors to participate in fun, challenging athletic activities—specifically running and biking. ||

Bike Art runs through June 28 at Altered Esthetics, 1300 Quincy St. NE, Mpls., 612-378-8888. Gallery hours Tue.–Thu. 6–8 p.m.; Sat. 1–5 p.m. Special Art-A-Whirl hours Fri. May 19, 5–9 p.m.; Sat. May 20, noon–9 p.m. & Sun. May 21, noon–5 p.m.