art + bikes

Archived Posts from this Category

Busy Weekend

Posted by ben on 22 Oct 2009 | Tagged as: art + bikes, arts organizations, celebrations, conceptual art, free food, graffiti, public art

This is a little reminder of some of the art events on this busy weekend.

  • Mel Bochner is showing recent work at Lawrence Markey gallery on Friday night, 5-7 pm.
  • For those of you who dig theory, the Land Heritage Institute is hosting an art-sci symposium, “The Nature of Place,” full of important thinkers, from Lucy Lippard, Sandy Stone, and Joan Jonas to Anjali Gupta (editor / director of Art Lies) and Leslie Raymond (head of the New Media Program at UTSA and one half of Potter-Belmar Labs). This is on Saturday & Sunday. It’s free, but you have to register.
  • For some more family-oriented fun on Saturday, check out the Blue Star Contemporary Art Center’s Family Day, with free workshops, demonstrations, food, drink, and live music. There’s even a bike rodeo and free silk screening if you bring your bike & t-shirts!
  • Saturday night the Martinez Street Women’s Center is having a fundraiser at Artpace called the Bling-Bling Fling. Should be a blast. Tickets are $25.
  • The street art festival Clogged Caps is going on all day Saturday, with top-notch aerosol artists & DJs.

Don’t miss any of this stuff! Seriously!

Define “post-contemporary”

Posted by ben on 21 Aug 2009 | Tagged as: art + bikes, conceptual art, coverage

In my first post in a long time over at Glasstire, I call out Elaine Wolff for her characterization of Daniel Saldaña as “post-contemporary.” I like the pieces he has on display at David Shelton Gallery, but her implication that his art is at odds with current art-making trends is a stretch, and I think a misreading of what’s happening in the art world.

Urban Rangers

Posted by ben on 18 Aug 2009 | Tagged as: adventure day, art + bikes, arts organizations, performance art, public art, renegade performances

A Los Angeles Urban Ranger explaining something

A Los Angeles Urban Ranger explaining something

The LA Times has a story up about the Los Angeles Urban Rangers, a group of “geographers, environmental and art historians, artists, curators, architects, and others” who dress up like park rangers and teach people how to enjoy public urban space responsibly. They lead urban safaris, such as a “guided hike of Hollywood Boulevard that deconstructed the famous street as if it were a natural park.” They teach people how to (legally) enjoy Malibu beach fronts where the homeowners have often (illegally) posted “Private Beach” signs.

San Antonio's Bike Gang Summit, 2008 (photo: Justin Parr)

San Antonio's Bike Gang Summit, 2008 (photo: Justin Parr)

This is what performance art should be: seductively entertaining while challenging implicit assumptions about what constitutes public space and how it should be used. In their own way, the Final Friday bike rides (and Bike Gang Summits) in San Antonio encourage this kind of urban exploration, albeit with less explicitly pedagogical goals. Mark Jones and the rides’ other organizers lead bikers through obscure urban environments on the edges of downtown, descending on unlikely VFW halls and pocket parks. It’s a social sculpture if there ever was one.

Daniel Saldaña Sneak Peek

Posted by ben on 06 Aug 2009 | Tagged as: art + bikes, design, sneak peeks

Daniel Saldaña dropped by the other day to show off his new penny farthing art bike. This piece will be in his “Electroism” show opening tonight at Blue Star. For more background, see Saldaña’s bikes here and here, and the Current article by Elaine Wolff. Also, check out his work in the ongoing David Shelton exhibit, Multiples.

Daniel Saldaña standing with his newest art bike

Daniel Saldaña standing with his newest art bike

Daniel Saldaña art bike handle

Daniel Saldaña art bike handle

Daniel Saldaña art bike ornament

Daniel Saldaña art bike ornament

Art Trike

Posted by ben on 13 Jun 2009 | Tagged as: adventure day, art + bikes, art paparazzi, design

As I was walking my bike down the road to get a flat fixed, Daniel Saldaña stopped to offer me a ride to the shop in his pickup. I was doubly lucky: Saldaña had his new art tricycle in the truck and let me snap a few shots before delivering it. (See this post for more on Saldaña’s art bikes).



Mysteries of San Antonio Street Art : Bikes?

Posted by justin on 31 May 2009 | Tagged as: acquisitions, adventure day, announcements, art + bikes, art paparazzi, borders, opportunities, possibilities

*update (june 08, 09) I ran into Daniel again and he is now claiming that the bikes will be temporarily displayed throughout the city, and locked in place.  He will be showing them soon as an entire group.

Be on the lookout, local artist Daniel Saldana, known most prominently in our community for his unfathomably plated metal objects, has taken to turning his excess metal into art bicycles, and leaving them about town.  I’ve seen them left up at SAMA, and Blue Star now, both times without a camera on my person.  I caught him at Red Dot with his newest creation, this time, chained to the pole outside.  Previous bikes were left to be picked up by lucky takers, and ostensibly this new one, I was told was “not finished,” and would be given a similar fate after completion.  If you have other images of these art bikes in their native habitat, give em up, via our contact form.

Daniel Saldana Art Bike outside of Red Dot event at Blue Star Contemporary Art Center in San Antonio Texas

Gene Elder, Gutzon Borglum, The Alamo, and the MUD Underground. or “IF ITS NOT THE ALAMO, then its just a studio”

Posted by justin on 26 Nov 2008 | Tagged as: adventure day, architecture, art + bikes, art paparazzi, arts organizations

Gutzon Borglum old winter Studio in San Antonio TX - photo by Justin Parr

Gutzon Borglum old winter Studio in San Antonio TX - photo by Justin Parr

(Words by Gene Elder)

(Photos of Gutzon Borglum studio by Justin Parr)
(The following article is from CATCH-UP, a one issue art magazine that a group of San Antonio artists published in May of 1978.
I chose to write an article about Gutzon Borglum and his abandoned studio on the San Antonio River. It is an interesting history. Artists will find these facts important, as I did.
In 1978 we were protesting the lack of support for the arts. The abandoned studio of Gutzon Borglum where he created the model for Mt. Rushmore  symbolized that lack of interest in the arts and the neglect of the creative community.)

IF ITS NOT THE ALAMO, then its just a studio
by Gene Elde_______________r
It has been my philosophy for some time now, that if you want to really enjoy an art exhibit, ignore the artist and the curator and go straight to the janitor. I have found that talking with the soul who picks up the trash after openings and daily sweeps the floors, empties ashtrays, polishes furniture and cleans the restrooms has the more interesting view of the arts. So with this in mind, I sat one Sunday on the steps of the Brackenridge Park Pumphouse and asked for wisdom from the Caretaker of the studio of Gutzon de la Mothe Borglum (The creator of Mount Rushmore.)
There has not been a caretaker here in 10 years… people have forgotten this artistic heritage … but then perhaps that is the responsibility of a good studio, to remember the things that were created here and not to tell everything it knows.
But this studio told me that many times Gutzon sat here in ecstasy; thinking about the monument that would lift the hearts of America long after he had gone  … (an artist learns that nothing is ever really his, only his to leave behind.)
Some of the time Gutzon sat here depressed and disenchanted from all the delays … but he understood that too. An artist is a servant as well as a leader and sometimes he must be both alone.
Many thought he was a little crazy … then again… most did not see the world the way Gutzon did.
This fateful studio, a two-story stone building near the Brackenridge golf course, was originally constructed under the supervision of George Washington Brackenridge in the mid-1880s. It served as the second pumphouse for the San Antonio Waterworks Co. until 1915 when it was abandoned. The pumphouse stood at the end of a long power canal which carried water to power turbines connected to a pump with a capacity of three million gallons daily. The water was lifted to the eastern end of Mahncke Park and in 1897 steam power was added to the station.
Gutzon moved to the abandoned pumphouse in 1924, using it as a studio for 13 years.
Now that the hor d’oeuvres have been served, to whet our appetite, shall we share a salad with our famous homemade house dressing?
While reading a book titled Unfinished Dream, by June Zeither and Lincoln Borglum, I enjoyed learning these things and have chronologically and alphabetically tossed them into the salad section.
Research revealed this famous South Dakota mountain site is named after a young New York attorney named Rushmore who was doing legal work for a mining company. When he asked the name of the peak, his companions answered lightly, “Hanged if we know! Lets call the damned thing Rushmore.”
Gutzon’s first model, completed in his winter studio in Brackenridge Park, was of three figures.
Washington: Since he represented the birth of the nation and the noble spirit which started a courageous people on an untried course.
Jefferson: To show the inspiration of the Declaration of Independence along with the foresight of the Louisiana purchase which expanded our country.
Lincoln: Representing the humanity, the suffering, the compassion, and the eternal unity of the nation.
When Roosevelt was chosen it brought forth a flood of controversy. Calvin Coolidge agreed with Gutzon that Roosevelt would properly round out this saga in stone. His enthusiasm for the American West, his efforts in behalf of labor along with the building of the Panama Canal, proclaimed Roosevelt to be the logical choice. To Gutzon this choice was right. “Regardless of what biased people may think of these four human beings, they were the ones who personified certain basic elements, crucial to our survival and growth as a nation.”
Not only was the choice of Roosevelt an issue, Gutzon’s angels commissioned by the Belmont Chapel of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City erupted into a nationwide controversy. The ecclesiastical hierarchy rejected the models on the grounds they appeared too feminine. “Angels,” they declared, “are masculine.”
Gutzon’s statue of Atlas bearing the weight of the world shocked the conservative. Delighting in this controversy, because “Atlas” turned out to be a woman, the sculptor explained that only woman has the strength and endurance for such a weight.
There was also a conflict with the Daughters of the Confederacy over Stone Mountain which ended with Gutzon destroying his clay models. They raised a furious cry and demanded the immediate arrest of the fleeing sculptor. Gutzon escaped into North Carolina with the law of Georgia hot on his heels. North Carolina’s Governor McLean announced he would call out the militia to protect the sculptor.
Besides being a sculptor, Gutzon served as a chairman of Central Park in New York and gave his thoughts to help San Antonio keep its historic Missions and meandering river. He also worked out an ambitious plan to beautify the entire state of Texas.
He gave a strong speech before the first National Arts Committee urging the government to promote a cultural consciousness in America. He felt that the government should scout out potential artist, but should never try to guide or mold the arts.
Gutzon’s plan for world peace was one of 20 selected for the Edward Bok American Peace Award for writers.
He regularly wrote “Letters to the Editor” delighting readers from coast to coast. They were well written, to the point, attention getting, and presented the unknown side of controversial issues.
Lincoln Borglum described his father as “a man of medium height, stocky build, and exceptionally broad shoulders. He had brown hair and piercing blue eyes. His cheeks were broad, his jaw square, and his chin determined. He was seldom seen without a brisk felt hat, which covered his balding head. His clothing was somewhat of a hybrid between that of an imaginative artist and a western bank president.”
Thrift, strict budgets, or bookkeeping were not necessary parts of Gutzon’s life. “Many times his commissions barely paid for the cost of his supplies, and often he would donate an important work, or turn part of his money back to the organization that commissioned him.”
Mount Rushmore took 16 years of his life. He died in debt, and his son, Lincoln, had to beg the government to pay Mary, Gutzon’s wife, the rest of the fees due Gutzon at his death.
as we engage on an entree where it is
considered in bad taste to request
catsup ?
In 1937, Gutzon left his studio to the Witte Museum, where it was used for the Museum School of Art. This group eventually merged with the Art Institute, started by Marion Koogler McNay. Rumor revealed Etienne Ret, a French portrait painter invited here by Mrs. McNay to teach, worked in Gutzon’s studio. With these events a tradition was born. The tradition of handing down a studio. There were others who worked here before it closed in 1960; Max Fitzpatrick, Chester Tony, Jack Fletcher, and Dan Withers. Since then, various attempts have been made to utilize the building. Julie Black proposed a pottery studio in 1976, but the most recent renovation plan was prepared by Rudy Trevino. Today, after 18 years, we are slowly beginning to gather together at it’s cemented windows and locked door to re-call it’s role as contained in the words of Etienne Ret: “Perhaps I will not come back to teach, but I will come back, yes. San Antonio is after all one of the few cities where you can live life as it should be lived.”
Now there is a pleasant golf course with golfers walking and talking with the crew that maintains the lawns … joggers pass occasionally … people visit, even if only to ask questions about the pumphouse. But the community needs this place to be filled with artists again. It should be used as a meeting house by all the artists in San Antonio. Gutzon would like that.
Time has again brought us here to unlock The Studio doors. Not only the future, but now we know, the choice is to hear the knock or to ignore.
A Fortune Cookie,
begins our next course.

K-ICE Monoplex renegade performance recap

Posted by justin on 21 Jul 2008 | Tagged as: art + bikes, art paparazzi, image & sound, performance art, photography, renegade performances, video/film

tacoland and the tree.

Posted by justin on 21 Jul 2008 | Tagged as: announcements, art + bikes, art paparazzi, borders, graffiti, in yo face

the tree has a posse the only tree left at now barren tacoland in san antonio

(Ben Judson)

another san antonio street art mystery

Posted by justin on 21 Jun 2008 | Tagged as: adventure day, art + bikes, art paparazzi

graffiti in San Antonio Texas Envy Ascension

(Found on S. Flores early a.m., photo by Justin Parr)

Anne Wallace sidewalk stamping project to come to a close this week.

Posted by justin on 06 Jun 2008 | Tagged as: acquisitions, announcements, art + bikes, art paparazzi, in yo face, public art

Anne Wallace sidewalk stamp in San Antonio TX
(photo by Justin Parr)
Anne Wallace’s sidewalk stamping project, originally commissioned to her in 1999, is finally able to come to a close with the completion of Florida Streets new sidewalks all the way from 281 to S. St. Marys (San Antonio, Texas). The work includes a range of quotes from neighborhood people about their memories of the area, as well as images of traditional crops grown in the area, which was once the farmland for the Alamo. The corn, beans, frogs, hands, snakes, and text panels are totally worth a bike ride down Florida next time you are down this way.

mystery public aqualung?

Posted by justin on 05 Jun 2008 | Tagged as: acquisitions, adventure day, art + bikes, art paparazzi, design, in yo face, rumors, silliness

public art? aqualung? pigeon coop? design by committee? I’m trying to get a good angle on it, but nobody seems to know ANYTHING about these. Pictured below, I’ve spent the last 2 months asking people “in the know,” if they know of, or have seen these objects, to no avail. Do you know anything about these giant acrylic hollow boxes, sheathed in metal and bathroom tile on the fore-front of our walk through downtown to the Alamodome? I’m not sure of the exact install date, but I have seen them unchanged in their current condition since the 2 weeks preceding the Final Four basketball games that gripped downtown San Antonio for a week. Possibly its unfinished? ..or maybe I just don’t get it.
blue box at the dome ugly san antonio

(more images by clicking below)
Continue Reading »

Emvergeoning goes to the last Rodeo.

Posted by justin on 09 Apr 2008 | Tagged as: art + bikes, art paparazzi, celebrity sightings, performance art, renegade performances, rock!, silliness

Ken Littles Rodeo HO HO made its final REGULAR appearance last night.  See for yourself :

Ken Little Lifts the bottle.

man in red playing guitar songs

Betty Ward does psychic JuJu on Ken Little

Chris Sauter sings They Might Be Giants to the crowd

Randy Wallace Speaks from the heart.

Rodeo Ho Ho plays the last Rodeo

Ken Dancing.

a LOT more are available here.  

Domo Arigato Mr. Bubble Head

Posted by ben on 11 Jan 2008 | Tagged as: art + bikes, design, in yo face, performance art, silliness

As many of you know, San Antonio sculptor / performer Jimmy Kuehnle has been in Japan since August working on a Fulbright project. He recently posted photos of his first two exhibits, at the Kyoto Museum (Artjam 2007) and the Aichi Geidai Gallery in the Aichi Prefectural University of Fine Arts and Music. Continuing a body of work he started in San Antonio, Kuehnle fabricated huge, inflatable sculptures, which also served as interactive / performance pieces.

Mr. Bubble Head, which Kuehnle made for Artjam, is a huge orange inflatable sculpture with ropes criss-crossing inside. Kuehnle spend much of the opening inside the sculpture tugging on the ropes as people walked by, creating an impression of organic response to the viewers’ presence. Museum visitors were also allowed inside the sculpture at various points, turning it into an interactive sculpture.

Mr Bubble Head by Jimmy Kuehnle

Mr Bubble Head by Jimmy Kuehnle

His piece at the Aichi Geidai Gallery, called Big Blob, was another inflatable sculpture made of the same orange material. This piece, however, was a suit which Kuehnle could walk around in “like a large leviathan.” After his performance in this enormous suit, Kuehnle invited audience members to try it on — but it seems a bit more unwieldy than those ridiculous sumo suits.

Big Blog by Jimmy Kuehnle

Big Blog by Jimmy Kuehnle

While the paste was still wet…

Posted by justin on 05 Jan 2008 | Tagged as: adventure day, art + bikes, art paparazzi, graffiti, in yo face, possibilities, r.i.p.

(words: Aaron Forland, photos: Justin Parr)

600 N. St. Marys

Who would have thought the day would come when the mighty Emvergeoning machine would get scooped on its home turf by a little-known upstart lowbrow/street art magazine called Juxtapoz?  Not only that, but with photos we took, documenting a one-of-a-kind, one-night-only (thanks to our crack City maintenance crews – good lookin’ out, fellas) extralegal public art installation coordinated and executed by a group calling itself Uniting Artists Through Crime.  Word has it that Scotch! and co-conspirators utilized the awesome networking power of to pull off this small coup.  The diverse international show was mounted (after a false start one week prior) during daytime hours Monday, December 17th on the defunct, boarded-up former haven for the transient on North Saint Marys at Convent, directly across from our beautiful Greyhound Bus Station.  As the press release (which also contained the magic word emerging) stated, the show ran “until the buff,” which, as mentioned, went down the following day.  Fortunately, Fl!ght World Headquarters received a telephone tip late Monday night and we were able to semi-thoroughly document it in the wee morning hours.

Aaron holds flash for Justins camera at 600 N. St. Marys

The show featured the work of artists from four continents, and may be the largest wheatpaste-based collaborative installation ever mounted in Texas.  Standout works came from (Florida), New York City’s stencil-mad Bot, the sociopolitical stylings of (Malaysia), and San Antonio’s own fevered x-acto imagists and .  Other contributing artists included (Califas), Aphro (SA), Bomit (Houston), Chis La Notte (Madrid, España), Dual (Houston), Dwell/Oneunit (NYC), Enosh (Califas), Enos One (SA), Genevieve (SA), (Queensland, Australia), Give Up (Houston), (SA), REPS/EPSR (SA), Washer (DC), Wes (SA) and probably a few others (apologies to anyone left out – I did my best to ID you all.)  Media varied from traditional wheatpaste methods of xeroxed, screened or stenciled paper to hand-painted pieces and even stenciled metal plates.

Street artist Eh? from Malaysia

Here you will find the entirety of Justin’s photos, and here are some supplementary celly snaps I took attempting to show a little more detail.

Continue Reading »

Wheres Waldo? – a little San Antonio Halloween diversion.

Posted by justin on 29 Oct 2007 | Tagged as: adventure day, art + bikes, art paparazzi, in yo face, party photos, renegade performances, silliness

I took part in San Antonios semi-regular Bike Gang Summit the other night for Halloween. During the process of riding through spooky parts of the city, we stopped at a cemetary on the East Side. It quickly degenerated into a game of Wheres Waldo..take a look (Waldo makes an appearance in each of these images).

To see images from the entire night go here.
Wheres Waldo Part One? Halloween Bike Gang Summit - San Antonio TX

Wheres Waldo - Halloween Bike Gang Summit - San Antonio TX

Wheres Waldo? - Halloween Bike Gang Summit - San Antonio TX

Continue Reading »

Diggly Wiggly 2007 photo recap (Dignowity Hill Pushcart Derby, San Antonio TX)

Posted by justin on 30 Jul 2007 | Tagged as: adventure day, art + bikes, art paparazzi, arts organizations, design, in yo face, mustaches, opportunities, party photos, performance art, possibilities, responses/reviews, rock!, silliness

Everybody has their own story about who won this year, Please post yours in the comments below.

All of these photos (and bunches more with labels) are located here.

click on the link below for more action!

Continue Reading »

Bike Gang Shrapnel

Posted by justin on 02 Apr 2007 | Tagged as: adventure day, art + bikes, art paparazzi, party photos, performance art, renegade performances, silliness, video/film

a group of onlookers for PBL's Bikes + Brocades video

yes, its real. San Anto!

yup, bike gang summit 07

A group of satisfied Bike Gangers looks on at the renegade video projection stumbled on in “Tacoland Park,” this last Saturday Night. The Bike gang stopped by the SWC Club, Tacoland Park, The Cherry street Bridge, Brackenridge Golf Course, Pine Street stretch, above Sunken Gardens, Ghost Train Field, and La Tuna to name a few. (some of these place names are local lore and quite unofficial) . A collection of photos outlining the entire evening in its entirety can be found here.

Onlookers shouting and waving at oncoming train in San Antonio

Shouting at an oncoming train on the Cherry Street Bridge

Langs gang

Ghost Train Field

Legend has it that when the moon is jussssst right you can still see the trains turning on imaginary tracks out here, emptying herds to slaughter at the union stockyards.

Holy Lebowski

the Lebowski Rollers + many more can be seen here.

If you were one of the many who took part, Thank you!