The Neighborhood Bike Works hosted an art show at the Magic Gardens.
Philadelphia Magic Gardens hosted the ninth annual Bike Part Art Show from Oct. 12 through Oct. 22, which brought Philadelphia’s artistic and cyclist communities together for a cause.
“Every artist has donated their work, all of the work is made out of bicycles or [bicycle themed],” Carol Borek, a coordinator for Neighborhood Bike Works South Philly branch, said. “I’ve seen some work that used brake pads as stamps or somehow was bicycle themed.”
The closing reception on Oct. 22 also served as a silent auction, where attendees were able to bid on artwork and enter a raffle to win various prizes. At the time of press, NBW didn’t release an official total of proceeds raised.
“It was really quality work and the prices were somewhat low and reasonable,” contributing artist Michael Novak said. “I’m probably going to fill my house with two pieces tonight.”
Proceeds went to NBW, a local organization for youth in underserved neighborhoods. NBW promotes a healthy lifestyle, education and career building through bicycling.
The event featured more than 60 pieces from local artists, including Isaiah Zagar the founder of Philadelphia Magic Gardens attended the show.
“All these people that contributed used bicycles as a theme or as a key,” Zagar said. “Their themes are different, but the key is the bicycle.”
A chandelier made from bicycle reflectors, which was auctioned at $200, was the most expensive piece. Other pieces included portraits framed in bicycle tires. Gearing Up, another local organization that serves troubled women through bicycling, also contributed artwork to the show.
The fundraiser, which has been held in a yoga studio in the past, showcased its first exhibition at Philadelphia Magic Gardens.
“NBW actually is in one of our Arts on South spaces, it’s a rent free space that they inhabit and they just pay utilities,” Philadelphia Magic Gardens Executive Director Ellen Owens said. “I got to talking to the people that work there and they said ‘We’re looking for a place to host our Bike Part Art Show,’ and Isaiah’s always donated a piece to the show because he builds out of recycled materials…and I’ve always donated and gone.”
“I said I’d love to bring that to our space because there’s tons of bike parts here,” Owens added.
Owens said that during the two weeks the exhibit ran it gained exposure by being part of the Philadelphia Open Studios Tour, opening it up to thousands of people.
“All of the proceeds are going to the program, which means we can have more kids come in, more resources, staff to teach the kids and send them on the Ride of Dreams this year,” said Jesse Delaney, an NBW volunteer working the art show.
The Ride of Dreams is an annual ride NBW organizes where riders go on a multi day trip to a different destination. Previous destinations include Harrisburg and Washington.
“I don’t have anything to say except they were really warming, I love to be around them,” said Brenea Mitchell, a senior at Mastery Shoemaker School who went on the Ride of Dreams in 2011. “I really enjoy having them and am glad I met them.”
Margy Burke, a registered nurse heard about the event through the Magic Gardens’ website.
“There’s a great turnout to support NBW, which seems like a really great cause,” Burke said. “I think it’s really cool to see the community come together.”
“I’ve actually been here about three times and to see a bike organization come with this is really moving because I never expected anything like this,” Mitchell added. “Coming here brings back so many memories, it’s really exciting.”
Luis Rodriguez can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.