Bike Parts & Art

November 29, 2013 |

A collage of past BICAS art auction items.
photos: Patrick Cobb

There are innumerous mediums of art – paint, clay, photos, metal, paper – the list goes on and on. Annually, bicycle parts collide with these various elements in a spectacular display of talent and skill at BICAS’ annual art auction.

For nearly 25 years, BICAS – Bicycle Inter-Community Art and Salvage – has provided Tucsonans with a place to recycle, learn about, and build bicycles. Their efforts in and around the community help people find affordable transportation and stay healthy. And they don’t throw away anything.

“BICAS exists to show people what they are capable of, empowering people to try to new skills,” said Kylie Walzak, BICAS’ administrative coordinator. “Learning to reuse things that could be considered trash and giving those items a second life.”

This year marks the organization’s eighteenth annual auction and is its largest fundraiser. According to Walzak, last year’s auction brought in a record breaking $21,000. A large portion of the artwork up for auction has been crafted out of used bike parts. Artists use the bike parts as a medium for sculptures and even jewelry crafting.

“I’m always amazed at what people come up with and the things that people can make out of bike parts,” said Troy Neiman, shop coordinator and artist. “The art work is great because it is so unique.”

Neiman added that BICAS  recycles and uses as much material as they can, whether it be in the form of refurbishing older bikes or creating amazing bike art.

“We keep tons of stuff from going into the landfills every year,” he said.

But it’s not just recycled bike parts that have made their way into the auction. There will be prints, paintings and even fiber works such as a blanket that was specially made for the event.

“It’s bicycle themed artwork and art made from bicycles,” said Tanya Rich, BICAS art coordinator. “This year, we’re pulling out all the stops.”

The art auction helps BICAS continue their mission to “promote education, art and a healthy environment while providing service and opportunity for those in need.” The event will also have music, activities, food and libations. All proceeds from the art auction will benefit BICAS’ continuous community-centered efforts.

“It is not just about artists,” Kylie Walzak said about the auction. “It’s about standing up to the BICAS mission.”

This year’s art auction will also serve as the kickoff to BICAS’ twenty-fifth anniversary, which will be a year of fun events celebrating BICAS’ community involvement. The auction also serves as a way to raise funds for BICAS to find a new home in the future.

“We want to make it another 25 years,” said Tanya Rich. “The space we’re in is fantastic. I think we want to be in a place we can grow into. We would like to solidify our place in the community by becoming building owners.”

If you can’t make it to the art auction, BICAS has art on display and for sale in their gallery, or “bike-tique” as it has more appropriately been dubbed. Small bicycle jewelry pieces are sold alongside t-shirts and other artworks. Early submissions for the upcoming art auction are also on display.

“It’s really cute and beautiful and we have some great stuff for sale,” Rich said.

In addition to the auction, this upcoming February will see BICAS hosting the fifth-annual Tucson Sculpture Festival.

“It kind of aligns with our twenty-fifth anniversary,” Rich said. “It won’t be limited to just bicycle inspired artwork.”

BICAS welcomes people from all walks of life to their art auction, events and classes. They continue to work on projects with a variety of organizations such as the Pima County Library, schools and local neighborhoods. Some of their public work can be seen around town such as the bike racks along the Fourth Avenue entertainment district.

Classes offered at BICAS include, but are not limited to, bike rebuilding, riding and maintenance. They also offer shop time exclusively for women and transgender identified persons. Art classes are also offered along with the opportunity for people to use the art area of BICAS during open shop hours.

The BICAS Art Auction is from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 7 at the Whistle Stop Depot, 127 W. 5th St. and is free to the public. Early bidding takes place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and the silent auction will follow from 6 to 9 p.m. A preview party is on Friday, Dec. 6 from 6 to 10 p.m. All proceeds benefit BICAS. For more information, call (520) 628-7950 or visit BICAS is located at 44 W. Sixth St.

Category: Arts, Community, DOWNTOWN / UNIVERSITY / 4TH AVE