Since 2010, hundreds of bicycle and art enthusiasts in Des Moines have attended ARTCRANK, an annual event showcasing affordable bike-inspired posters created by local artists.
ARTCRANK originated in Minneapolis in 2007 and has since spread to a variety of larger cities. In 2010, it made its first hop across the pond with a show in London. This year, Austin, Los Angeles and New York were added to the docket. But, the success of ARTCRANK comes with a price. To ensure the event could expand to larger metro areas, a few smaller cities, Des Moines included, were dropped.
No hard feelings, though. ARTCRANK creator Charles Youel worked with and mentored local organizers to promote a similar show: PedalArt Des Moines.
“I saw it as an opportunity. It was an exciting thing that we could do it on our own,” said Michelle Holley, the 26-year-old curator and event coordinator for PedalArt. The locally produced art show kicks off Friday at the Des Moines Social Club. It’s a partnership between the Social Club’s Instinct Gallery and The Des Moines Bicycle Collective.
“It’s a really great way to bring the bike community together with the art community,” she said. “The art is accessible and the price point is low.”
Twenty-nine Iowa artists were selected to participate in PedalArt (10 artists were turned away). Each had about six weeks to produce an original design that incorporates a bicycle theme. And like ARTCRANK, the artists will each print 30 limited edition posters to sell at a set price of $40.
PedalArt takes a 30 percent commission and the rest of the money goes directly to the artists.
The collaboration, Holley says, exposes a different group to what Des Moines has to offer to bicyclists and brings everyone from casual to serious riders together.
ARTCRANK fans will see a mix of familiar and new faces at PedalArt. Holley says around half of the artists have participated in ARTCRANK, and half are new.
“Some people have never done something like this before. I’m pretty excited,” she said.
Garrett Cornelison, 29, has participated in both ARTCRANK events in Des Moines and is returning as an artist for PedalArt.
“I think ARTCRANK sort of established something that PedalArt can step right into,” he said.
After all, Cornelison says, it’s about something bigger than the event name. It’s about the art.
“It’s not about the politics. It’s the opportunity to design something that a lot of people will potentially see and appreciate and buy,” he said.
PedalArt Des Moines
When: 7-10 p.m. Friday (opening reception), 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, noon-3 p.m. Sunday
Where: Des Moines Social Club, the Kirkwood building, 400 Walnut St.
Admission: Free to attend. Posters cost $40 each.
Posters remaining after this weekend will be on display and available for purchase Tuesday through May 19 at RAYGUN, 400 E. Locust St.