Bike Art for Bike People

Last year’s Artcrank Denver bike poster show was the first one promoter Charles Youel had ever produced outside of his home town of Minneapolis. But you know Denver: It was a huge success, drawing hundreds of bike-and-design enthusiasts to East Colfax Avenue to a street party, one where they could also view and buy bike-inspired posters by local artists. Youel notes that the concept has since spread to seven more cities, including London, where he’ll travel in September.

What makes Denver such a great Artcrank town? Aside from being a true bicycling hub, the city has further appeal in the shape of fashion maven/graphic designer couple Tran and Josh Wills, whose collaboration with Youel has been essential, both in galvanizing the design community and coming up with new ways to dress it up.

“I think it’s good to open it up to a wider audience,” Youel says. “I see Denver as a model of what happens when you stretch the boundaries of the show outside of the gallery. While we’re there, we’ll be having a fashion show and a lot of other elements to go with the art aspect. I guess you could say it’s what I hope all of the shows might evolve into eventually.”

Also on the agenda are an interactive video installation by Gutter Bunny, a bike photo booth, a bike-inspired fashion show by Baily Rose, live bicycle-frame painting and special custom tattoos by Th’ink Tank for $50. “This is not just for bike messengers or mountain bikers,” Youel says. “It’s for anybody who’s ever enjoyed the simple act of getting on a bike and traveling around the city.”

Artcrank Denver opens today with a party from 1 to 11 p.m. at Lisa Kowalski Studio and Gallery, 2762 Walnut Street, and continues through September 11, dovetailing with the Denver Bike Film Festival. Limited edition posters are $30 each. For details, visit www.artcrankpostershow.com.
Sat., Sept. 4, 1-11 p.m., 2010

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