“Project Bike” is Minnesota's only woman lead state-wide bicycle tour with visual artists and their studios setting the destinations. For 17 days this summer, creative leader Dana Sikkila set out on a 960 mile art/bike tour, advocating for the importance that every person has skills to share, wisdom to impact, and ideas that help grow and sustain their communities. With her bike, trailer, and film crew, Sikkila connected with Minnesota artists living in rural communities and the Twin Cities, learning what motivates her fellow Minnesotans to create art.
This year's Project Bike took Sikkila and riding partner Kyle Zeiszler all over the state from Moorhead, Brainard, Fergus Falls, Taylors Falls, Minneapolis, Kasota, to Mankato. Traveling and living only by bike, they meet with artists in their studios or homes, learning what motivates them to create art. Investing in our local creatives to understand and share the strengths and struggles of being an artists.
Along with those interviews Sikkila collected 2-4 pieces of art from each artist, packaged it up, and secured the work to the back of my bike, traveling with it through the rest of the tour. Art collected ranges in size, weigh, and materials. There were 42pieces of art work were collected from 15 different artists along this year's tour, ranging from ceramics, metal sculpture, painting, glass blowing, computer illustrations, and tattoos.
Along the way, the trip is documented and filmed by friends and filmmakers Austin Swain and Maddie Fox, Independent filmmakers from Mankato Minnesota, Their goals were to capture the tales from the trails and and share the true stories of the artists and what it means to be a maker in Minnesota. Austin and Maddie have been working together for two years. They have worked together on multiple video productions that have won awards such as Finalist in Sound Design in the My RODE Reel competition, Best in Show, Best Cinematography, and Best Editing in the Red Eye Film Festival, and were featured in this years Speechless Film Festival.
Swain and Fox share that in this years film you will get to know ten different artists from across the state. You will see them in their element, learn about their work, and hear their stories. The mission of this project is to bring communities and individuals together through art. The full length film will give a unique perspective on how arts affect our state, our culture, and ourselves.
Project Bike's 2018 Minneapolis reception and film premiere will take place Saturday October 20th 7-9pm at the Hennepin Theatre Trust in Minneapolis, MN. For one night, visitors will be able to view all 42 pieces of art work collected, along with photographs and writings from the tour. Also that night the Project Bike team will premiere the 2018 documentary.
2018 Project Bike Reviews:
“Project Bike is heartening. The film emphasizes that artists can be found anywhere and that the definition of art can be fluid. The film adds an element to the project that I haven't engaged with before. It feels personal and allows you to connect with each of the artists and experience their creative process on a deeper level.You are immersed in the journey, collection of stories and the works created, including the film itself!”
“By extending essential questions about how we create and why to populations in rural, suburban, and urban Minnesota, Project Bike fosters a connected community of artist, thinkers, and questioners. It allows people to be heard, which sets more ideas in motion. Project Bike is one of those things you walk away from with thoughts of all the things you could do to make a difference.”
“What is art? There are so many definitions, and yet none at all. This exact idea is Dana Sikkila's focus for Project Bike. As Dana takes on a 960mile bike journey to visit with artists throughout Minnesota. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I was thrilled to see the documentary of Dana’s movement. A movement is exactly what it was. I left feeling inspired and grateful to be a member of the Mankato art community. "
"The video was so flawlessly put together. If not informed I would not have guessed it was produced by two film students. This documentary took me riding along with them. The inclusiveness of the film makes me excited to see it again. I feel like all art students Would benefits for the films contents. For we place so much pressure on what is good, so to go into the studio of other artists, and hear them say “you just keep making” is something I needed to hear. I am truly humbled by your passion for art."
This event is open and free to the public.
Super excited to announce Minnesota native Dean Vaccaro will be our DJ for the evening. Dean's been loving music his whole life, sharing he can list his favorite songs from the age 5 and on. He's been a fixture on the Minneapolis nightclub scene for over 34 years, keeping many of the city's highest-profile dancefloors full and on the leading edge of club tastes. Dean has held court at literally every major venue in minneapolis and developed a loyal following for his diverse repetoires of deep house, '80s underground, real disco and more recently, lounge exotica. In 1999 dean was honored with a Minnesota music award nomination for "best club dj" and was bestowed a 'star' in 2000 on First Avenue's (music venue) esteemed wall of fame. To this day Dean continues to play music all over the Twin Cities, make sure not to miss his at Project Bike!
2018 Project Bike Promo Video
Project Bike Studio Break Podcast Interview
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