ARTCRANK brings out the best in Denver’s bike scene and creative culture.

If there’s such thing as a pop culture power couple, Tran and Josh Wills are Denver’s leading contenders. Together, they’ve channeled their imaginations, instincts and energy into creative start-ups ranging from a fashion boutique showcasing local talent (The Fabric Lab) to a hip b&b for Denver visitors eager to depart from the beaten tourist path (Queen Anne Bed & Breakfast). They’ve also found time to open their own gallery — Super Ordinary —which will play host to the 2011 edition of ARTCRANK Denver, a poster show featuring affordable artwork created by local artists and designers.

This year’s ARTCRANK Denver will feature the work of 30 artists, with a mix of returning show veterans and new talent. The show will open on Friday, September 2 at 6:00pm at Super Ordinary, and also include a Saturday showing from noon until 6:00pm. Admission is free, and limited edition prints of all posters will be sold for $40 on both days.

Tran and Josh first teamed up with Minneapolis-based ARTCRANK founder Charles Youel to bring the show to Denver in 2009, a raucous event that filled Colfax Avenue with bike and art lovers eager to take in (and take home) bike-inspired artwork. Since then, they’ve added new wrinkles to the show, like fashion created using actual bike parts and a tattoo artist doing live ink work. The opening night festivities on Friday will include a short film by local designer Baily Rose, plus the return of the fashion show. And Saturday is set up to be more family-friendly, with a Fun Bike Photo Booth by Denver photographer Sara Ford.

According to Tran Wills, it’s all part of evolving the show outward from its roots: “There’s so much crossover in Denver between people who love bikes and the creative community. For ARTCRANK, the posters are always the focus, but we always want to show other ways that bikes inspire people to create art.”

The eclectic atmosphere is one of the reasons that ARTCRANK keeps coming back to Denver year after year. “To me, art and cycling are both about taking chances and pushing boundaries,” says Youel. “The last thing we want ARTCRANK to be is predictable, so we’re always incorporating new stuff that helps us connect with people in our host communities. Working with Josh and Tran challenges us to expand our idea of what the show can be, and I’d like to think that working with ARTCRANK has given them a new perspective on their creative ventures.”

ARTCRANK Denver will also provide show attendees with a chance to support the Boulder, CO-based International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA) by doing something else that comes naturally to cyclists: Enjoying a cold beer. Widmer Brothers Brewing is donating beer to the event, and proceeds from the sale of ARTCRANK pint glasses will go to support IMBA’s work to build, maintain and protect mountain bike trails.

Youel hasn’t seen any of the posters for the 2011 show yet, but he’s not worried. “Our Denver artists have consistently produced amazing work that reflects every perspective on cycling you can imagine. Hanging the show is like opening Christmas presents. I can’t wait to see what people come up with this year.” With prints of all posters selling for just $40, bike and art lovers should start making room on their walls now.

What: ARTCRANK™ DEN 2011: A Poster Party for Bike People

When: Opening Night Party
Friday, September 2
6:00pm – 11:00pm

Additional Gallery Hours
Saturday, September 3
Noon – 6:00pm

Where: Super Ordinary Gallery
3126 Larimer Street
Denver, CO 80205

Information: http://artcrank.com/denver

Photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cyouel/sets/72157624770667519/
(From ARTCRANK Denver 2010)

More: Details: Friday, September 2
Hours: 6:00pm – 11:00pm
Admission: Free
Limited edition prints of all posters: $40 each
Beer & ARTCRANK Pint Glasses provided by Widmer Brothers Brewing
Short Film and Bike-Inspired Fashions by Maison de Rose
DJ set by Chavez y Chavez

Details: Saturday, September 3
Hours: Noon – 6:00pm
Admission: Free
Limited edition prints of all posters: $40 each
Fun Bike Photo Booth by Sara Ford
DJ set The Postman

Artists
Aaron Ray, Andrew Hoffman, Anthony Cozzi, Aron Dubois, Axel Geittmann, Broox Pulford, Chris Huth, Debbie Clapper, Harikrishnan Panicker, Jaime Molina, John Fellows, John Vogl, Josh Shivley, Kris Fry, Lumber Brothers, Manu Budant, MATTER, Matt Scobey, McKenzie Hoffman, Melanie Pruitt, Nic & Kirsten Bingham, Nigel Penhale, Rob Mack, Sandra Fettingis, THINKMULE, Tuyet Nguyen, Zshanna Kristoff

Cause Partner
International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA): http://www.imba.com
Widmer Brothers Brewing is donating beer for the event and providing custom ARTCRANK pint glasses, which can be purchased for $10.00. Five ($5.00) dollars from every pint glass sold will be donated to IMBA.

Sponsors
Super Ordinary Gallery: http://wearesuperoridnary.com
Widmer Brothers Brewing: http://www.widmerbrothers.com
Neenah Paper: http://www.neenahpaper.com/

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