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The USA Pro Cycling Challenge ushers in second year of bike art installation

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When it comes to art and bicycles, Ivar Zeile knows how to keep the wheels turning. The owner of Plus Gallery, Zeile -- who was in charge of curating last year's inaugural USA Pro Cycling Challenge bike art installation -- is taking the project for another spin, as Colorado again plays host to the international bicycle race.

This Wednesday, the thirteen finished art bicycles will make an appearance at PlatteForum, before they move on to Denver International Airport for an installation that will greet visitors in August.

See Also: - The USA Pro Cycling Challenge gets artsy at Plus Gallery - Matt Scobey's Not for Sale: Denver: Art in the most unusual places - Cruiser bikes rule: they will save the world and make your butt look great

Last year, the theme of the project was countries, and artists were picked and assigned a particular nation based on their own affiliations. This year, the scope has broadened, with a new round of local artists brought in to work with participating cycling teams. "The directive this year was to not repeat the country methodology, but what teams are racing specifically, and assign an artist to them," says Zeile.

"Coming up with the artists this year was easier in some ways, without having the limitation of the countries," he continues. He already had a few artists in mind -- some based on their work with creative agencies within Denver, and some who were known bike enthusiasts -- and started from there. "We also wanted to extend the invite to some community groups as a nice gesture and challenge," says Zeile of the inclusion of PlatteForum and DAVA Youth in the project.

He also took suggestions from others in the art community to come up with the thirteen artists and group collaborators for this year's USA Pro Cycling Challenge art project. Along with the two community organizations, the list of participants includes Andrew Hoffman, Mike Bernhardt, Vincent Comparetto, Tracy Weil, Matt Scobey, Colin Livingston, and collaborations by Sander Lindeke and Emily Hinson, Conor Hollis and Amorette Lana, Cultivator, Sukle Advertising and the Ladies Fancywork Society.

In addition to focusing on their specific cycling teams, the artists were asked to stick to some basic guidelines. They had to keep the integrity of the basic bike structure (though the result did not have to be rideable), and the work had to adhere to DIA's sustainablity for art in public places guidelines: keep the work free of profanity, lewd or violent images and, in general, make it appropriate for the general public viewing.

The thirteen bicycles -- representing twelve participating USA Pro Cycling Challenge teams and the race as a hole -- will be on display from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. this Wednesday , July 25, at PlatteForum, 1610 Little Raven Street; Visit Denver is helping with that event.

The bike art installation will then move to DIA, where it will remain on display through August; prizes will be given to the creators of the top three "Best of Show" bikes.

Once the exhibition is over, the bikes will be go to various locations around the city. "Last year, DIA got to pick one and some went to a specific location," says Zeile. "If we can find a suitable use or interest in the community, we'd like to have them auctioned."

For more information, visit the Plus Gallery Facebook page.

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