The Roll Bike Art Festival has legs. Now entering its eighth incarnation, Amy Seltzer's idea for a little art exhibit has blossomed into a full-scale amalgam of human creativity and mechanical capabilities.
"One of the beauties of riding is that it's a machine that's human-powered," Seltzer says shortly after hopping off her bike. "And by powering that machine, you're giving life to a certain part of your personality that there's no other way to express." That feeling can carry into non-riding time, Seltzer has found: "When you get off that bike, you're going to be inspired to do something with it."
Seltzer, 40, moved here at age 29 and hatched her plan with friends a few years later. Although she has a day job at a natural foods grocery, Roll dominates her thoughts — she's already planning for 2013.
This year includes the premiere of the Mobile Music Project, which uses pedal power to juice stage performances. Also, Marmalade at Smokebrush's Kat Tudor will lead "bike yoga," helping bicyclists improve balance, maneuvering and post-ride recovery.
The exhibit's 20 artists include locals like Chris and Wendy Mike, whose "Slipstream Goddess" combines his love for vintage bicycles with her talent for sculpture. Here, a glossy figure made of plastic wrap, packing tape and Plexiglas flies on top of a weather-beaten two-wheeler. Further showcasing the subject's endless possibilities, local art teacher Charlotte Miller used salvaged bike parts to recreate an arcade-style peep show. And Mary Horrocks, of Boulder's Dairy Center for the Arts, printed patterns on fabric with rusty bicycle chains.
It puts a friendly spin on art, so to speak. Don Goede, Smokebrush executive director, sees Roll's success in its accessibility. "Art can come across as pretentious, and if you have a common denominator like the bicycle — has anyone not ever been on a bike?"