BOULDER, CO (June 20, 2011) - What happens when you transform advertising space into art? It's a question few have asked and even fewer have answered.
But this Wednesday, in conjunction with Colorado's Bike To Work Day, the Boulder B-cycle bike-sharing program will find out when the Ads2Art project rolls out 50 bikes sporting art on the basket-panel space normally reserved for adverting.
This unique project, which will touch half of Boulder B-cycle's 100-bike launch fleet, is the brainchild of Alex and Ana Bogusky, who made a generous $50,000 sponsorship donation to secure B-cycle basket space, then put out a call for submissions from local artists.
Next came a gallery showing and auction at the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, which both raised money for the nonprofit bike-share program and helped determine which pieces of art would receive the distinct honor of being part of Boulder's streetscape for one year.
"We're thrilled that the Bogusky's are supporting Boulder B-cycle through such an innovative public art installation," said Boulder B-cycle executive director Elizabeth Train. "B-cycle makes bikes accessible to anyone and everyone in Boulder, and Ads2Art does the same thing for art. It's a fantastic example of synergy and vision."
Among the participants was well-regarded Denver-based artist Vincent Comparetto, who jumped at the chance to experiment on a new canvas.
"Galleries are just one venue for art, and sometimes they can be a little elitist," explained Comparetto. "Ironically it's sort of like bike riding in a way. But when you bring them both to the common person at a street level, that's very cool."
Ads2Art is part of Common Canvas, an initiative of Bogusky's FearLess Revolution. FearLess aims to defy conventional advertising wisdom through consumer advocacy and by supporting progressive ideas, programs and projects.
"There's something about bikes and art that just go together," said Alex Bogusky. "Really the bike itself is art, so we wanted to continue that and move art away from the galleries and show it in a way that most people don't get to experience."
Bogusky says the project generated all kinds of submissions, from graffiti pieces, to abstracts, to still lifes, to mosaics, to impressionist works, to water colors and pencil sketches.
"It's been really cool going through everything," he added.
And starting Wednesday, the rest of Boulder and anyone who visits this city at the base of the Flatirons, will have chance to share that same cool experience.