Students' Art Bikes Hit Downtown Streets Monday

by ekramer on April 23, 2010

Dozens of bikes that high school art students have transformed into art pieces go on display this weekend before being installed around downtown Monday. WFPL’s Elizabeth Kramer has more.

Five years ago, the Louisville Downtown Management District provided old bikes to art students at downtown area high schools so they could make sculptures. The organization has done it again this year. And this weekend, the fruits of their labor — art bikes — are on exhibit.

The management district’s Ken Herndon says in January it gave 32 old bikes to students at the Brown School, duPont Manual, St. Francis and Presentation Academy.

“We said make some art out of these, totally carte blanche, whatever they wanted to do,” he says. “And we’ll have them on display this weekend at the Center for the Arts lobby.”

The management district, which is responsible for installing more than 30 bike racks by professional artists, gave old bikes to students in January. And those students have used them to create a variety of sculptures. Some have antlers and one includes tuba parts.

DuPont Manual High School art teacher Alana Alford says her students learned a lot from the project.

“It’s like a culmination of all their knowledge — especially the seniors — to put together their own ideas and then, of course, especially to see them out in the community,” Alford says. “And that really, really brings it home that they can do art for a living.”

Samantha Ludwig, a senior at duPont Manual High School, says she learned a lot working with her team to create one of the sculptures.

“Definitely problem solving, also working with different medias is important,” she says, “and just getting used to working with the community and trying to do something that can relate to not only artists but people who can appreciate it just walking down the street.”

The art bikes, now on exhibit at the Kentucky Center for the Arts, will be installed at bike racks on Monday for display through May 17.

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