FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Ron Kavanaugh, Communications Associate
firstname.lastname@example.org or 718.681.6000 x120
BICYCLE-RECONSTRUCTION PROJECT EXAMINES ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES, HEALTH, AND TRANSPORTATION ALTERNATIVES IN THE SOUTH BRONX
SPRING 2004: RE-BICYCLING
On Friday, April 23, 4:00pm, The Bronx Museum of the Arts hosts a presentation of Re-bicycling, a series of interactive workshops that give old bike parts a new life—bicycle recycling. Joined by civic leaders, community representatives, environmental and alternative-transportation activists, the workshop facilitators and participating teens will introduce this relevant and cool project to the public.
Re-bicycling is organized around ten weekly workshops in which the artist collective The 62 (www.the62.org), instructs local teens recruited from the Highbridge Community Life Center and the Bronx International High School on ways to envision, design, and reconstruct customized bicycles from discarded and donated parts. Throughout the process the artists lead discussions pertinent to urban and environmental issues.
The workshops take place every Saturday, beginning April 3 through June 5 and culminate with a circular tour of the South Bronx on Saturday, June 12, 4:00pm. The tour winds down the Grand Concourse, through the neighborhoods of Highbridge, Hunts Point, and Morrisania. Along the route, The 62 and participating team will take air-pollution measurements through individual sets of artificial “lungs” (handcrafted air filters produced during the workshops).
Bronx residents are confronted with health, environmental, and transportation issues that are well documented: congested highways dissect and encircle the area, an overdependence on surface transit (buses and taxis), and a growing number of waste transfer and recycling plants all add to the areas health and environment concerns. These elements also can be attributed to the borough’s high rates of asthma, diabetes, and obesity. Faced with these alarming facts The 62 chose to address such issues through alternative-transportation modes and environmental education. Emphasizing the importance of exercise and physical health, creative thinking, pollution control, and environmental responsibility.
The 62’s workshops include instruction on bicycle design and mechanics, visits to local bike shops, and prepping donated and found materials. In addition to the “re-bicycling” process the participants will document the physical changes that take place over time. The staging aspect of the project is captured on an oversized drop-cloth canvas on which the bikes are wrought, crafted, and painted—splatters, chain oil, sneaker prints, and embedded metal shavings will create a Jackson Pollack-like painting. A record of the teams’ efforts.
After its run at The Bronx Museum of the Arts the workshop component of the project will be implemented on a permanent basis in the borough by Recycle-a-Bicycle (www.recycleabicycle.org), an independent organization dedicated to youth development, environmental education, recycling, and bicycle transportation in New York City.
Collaborative Arts Project is an education program designed to encourage public access to contemporary art by facilitating encounters between artists and community organizations.
Education and public programs at The Bronx Museum of the Arts are supported by the U.S. Small Business Administration, Nathan Cummings Foundation, Citigroup Foundation, Emigrant Bank, and The New York Yankees Community Council.
The 62 is an artist collective from Brooklyn working primarily with design and urban intervention.
The 62 acknowledges the generous support of Conjunction Arts, Inc.
The Bronx Museum of the Arts
Founded by community residents and artists in 1971, the Museum presents contemporary art and creative programs to one of the most culturally diverse communities in the United States.
Committed to innovation, the Museum organized such seminal exhibitions as Urban Mythologies (1999) and One Planet Under a Groove: Hip Hop and Contemporary Art (2001), and also presents many education, public, and family programs throughout the year.
Connecting art, programs, and people the Museum continues as a unifying presence in the community.