Neon Bike Art Project Toornto

Neon bike to become city-wide art project

An impromptu art project involving an abandoned bike outside the OCAD U Student Gallery appears set to become a city-wide phenomenon. Put together by Councillor Gary Crawford, "The Good Bike Project" will see Caroline Macfarlane and Vanessa Nicholas, the artists responsible for the original neon bike, restore an unspecified number of Toronto's 150 abandoned bikes for placement throughout Toronto neighbourhoods. According to a press release sent out by Councillor Crawford, the bikes are meant to "to mark sites that promote the ethos of regeneration and community that sparked their creativity."

"I am very pleased that we are able to announce this public art project today. Over the coming weeks residents will see these bicycles appear in their neighbourhoods. Hopefully, this will help draw attention to local sites, attractions, businesses and organizations," said the Ward 36 councillor.

Wow. I guess I owe you a bit of an apology, Gary. Good on you and the artists for putting this all together — and most especially for getting the mayor on board. "The Good Bike project is an example of creativity that exists within young artists in our City. It certainly will be exciting when these bikes appear around Toronto this summer," said Rob Ford of the project.

"The positive reaction that the bike has received is certainly evidence of the thirst for public art in Toronto," said Nicholas of the first bike. Not to play Debbie Downer, but it's tough to know exactly what to think about just how the City has embraced this project. After all, didn't the original iteration come to existence in a manner very similar to that of graffiti or other vandalism?

Spontaneous and unauthorized beautification hasn't exactly been well received around these parts in 2011. So, one has to ask: does this project signal some sort of change or heart, or is it just a carefully executed exception to the rule? I'm not really complaining if it's the latter, but it sets some interesting precedence as far as other unsolicited art goes.

Be sure to check Macfarlane and Nicholas' blog, The Good, for updates on the project.

Photo by dan cronin.jpg in the blogTO Flickr pool.


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