Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Smile More: Ride a Bike!

Celebrating both art and bicycles, the We Love to Ride Bikes event was one of the more unique rides that occurred during Bike Month in Cincinnati. The ride was a collaboration between local cyclists and the Contemporary Arts Center, and was a component of the Inside Out Project. The Inside Out Project is a global art project initiated by the street artist JR, recipient of the 2011 TED Prize. Project participants create black and white photographic portraits which are turned into posters and displayed publicly in their community. The posters are intended to give participants a voice and communicate a message about personal identity, beliefs, and values. Projects have occurred in multiple US cities as well as many other countries, including Israel, Pakistan, Thailand, France, Spain, Tunisia, and South Africa.

"I wish for you to stand up for what you care about by participating in a global art project, and together we'll turn the world...INSIDE OUT." – JR

Our group’s theme was “Smile More: Ride a Bike!” We wanted our posters to communicate how riding bikes makes people smile (both cyclists and the people who see them riding), and makes us feel more connected to our community. All of our portraits include some part of a bike or bike accessory (helmet, wheel, bell etc). And since our posters were about bikes, we were determined to find a way to attach them to our bikes and do a celebratory ride with them! With help from the guys at Losantiville, we were able to turn some of our posters into 5-foot "feather flags" that attached to our bike racks, and the rest of the posters were mounted on cargo bikes or trailers. All photos are courtesy of the awesome Michael Providenti.

 After our ride we were treated to a lovely reception at the Contemporary Arts Center.

The best part of the whole thing was the random people we would pass on the street who would yell out, "What are you guys doing?!"

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