The creative process is one particularly unique from person to person. A vast array of art is generated every single day from almost nothing but an artist’s imagination. When the Kimball Arts Center in Park City teamed up with SRAM to put on the SRAM pART PROJECT, individual creative processes proved to be brilliantly distinct from amongst each artist, and put on an extraordinary exhibit.
For the exhibition, 25 artists were all given the same box of 100 bicycle parts and asked to make a 20 x 20 x 20 inch sculpture. The artists had to use at least 25 of those parts, with the SRAM logo showing. They were allowed to add any artistic elements, as long as they stayed within the conditions.
SRAM, a privately held bicycle component manufacturer based in Chicago, began the pART project to earn money for world bicycle relief, which, according to their literature, “serves people in underdeveloped regions of the world who suffer from lack of access to health care, education, and economic opportunity.” Former events have been held in New York, Chicago, and the Salt Spring Island in British Columbia. Park City’s appreciation for cycling and the arts made it the perfect destination for the current project.
Kathy Nitka, member of the Kimball Arts Center Board and curator of the pART Project, was satisfyingly impressed when the 25 artists submitted their pieces. “Honestly, this could have been a complete shit show, but the artists were incredible. They exceeded every expectation I had for this exhibit. All the pieces are amazing and unique in their own way.” Nitka went on to explain her ideas for the project. “I’ve always wanted to do a bike show in Park City. My daughter who avidly bikes in Boulder, Colorado introduced me to the company and their fundraising ideas. After winning the approval of SRAM’s Global Marketing Director, I dove right in. Finding artists was quite the task. I wanted a split of local and national artists, specifically 3-D artists. All the artists were a complete delight to work with.”
Utah residents Doug and Dianne Adams combined their talents to create a piece that is being talked about as one of the favorites to win the juried show. “Doug is a bell sculpture artist. He works in found metal objects so naturally he wanted to create a bell sculpture,” says Dianne, who is a painter working in watercolor on canvas, using fused glass and resin. So they combined their skills to create a bell sculpture out of resin and recycled fused glass. After three weeks of dedicated work in the studio and difficulty figuring out how to suspend the SRAM bicycle parts, their final result, “Suspended Resonation” turned into a fan favorite.|1| “We enjoyed the challenge,” the pair says.
From bell sculptures to woodwork, all mediums of art were put to the test. Park City resident James Hoffmeister, Sr used the wood from his own land to help the bicycle cause with “From Knowledge Comes Innovation.”|2| Hoffmeister’s inspiration seemed instantaneous: “I just knew I wanted to do something that would not look industrial or mechanical and would tap into my woodworking skills. Suddenly a pop-up book seemed doable and would be a pat on the back to the designers and engineers by showcasing the parts for their innate beauty rather than modify them or use them as raw material for something for which they weren’t designed. “ His son’s sculpture of a raptor shows the diversity of inspiration that can come with the same materials and even the same genes.|3|
Ideas stemmed from every which way, but the usual obvious and common denominator was biking. Deveren Farely’s piece was definitely one to stop and stare at. “The hardest part for me was deciding what to make,” says Farely. “I wanted to be able to sell it and make as much as possible for the charity. I decided to do something relating to bikes since some buyer may include lovers of SRAM. I love to bike also and when I plan a trip to ride I just can stop thinking about it and that’s where the idea came from. It was really based on getting lost in what you love and how it sticks to your mind, and in this case it was biking.”|5|
The final exhibit, layered with all its variety, had viewers leaving with the curiosity of what they could do with that box of 100 parts. The final pieces and the cause itself proved the beauty of human nature and that art can make a difference in people’s lives.
The SRAM pART Project Park City: Parts Into Art Into Aid is at the Kimball Art Center’s Badami Gallery through August 25. The displayed art pieces will be available for purchase through an eBay auction that will run from August 6th-August 12th. The works will be available for purchase with a price to buy immediately. The show features work by 25 artists working with bicycle parts donated by SRAM. For more information on the SRAM pART PROJECT visit www.sram.com.
Haylee Wilkes is the 15 Bytes summer intern. She’s a sophomore at Dixie State University majoring in Professional and Technical Writing. At Dixie she plays on the volleyball team and acts as a Student Ambassador for the school.