Developing ideas for art during Bike Month in May had many local artists' wheels spinning.
“I decided I needed to do something sort of whimsical,” said Atascadero painter Tori Lepore. She is among the many artists taking part in the 6th Annual Bike Show. For her contribution, she composed a watercolor of a pig and sunflowers on a bicycle seat, “Pig Going for a Ride.”
She acknowledged having used pigs as painting subjects a few times in the past. “They just struck me as being comical,” said Lepore. The former potter and gallery owner who took up painting four years ago normally does landscapes, florals, birds and country scenes.
The annual bike exhibit has been held at various locations, and this year the Artery is hosting the event -- on a smaller scale than in the past, when empty buildings filled up with art, full-sized bikes and large sculptures and mobiles.
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Artery owners Bobbi Nunez and Bill Arkfeld hold exhibits year - round at the art supply store and gallery. Nunez has used bikes in her art for a long time, and has a variety of her own paintings in the show, from representational bicycles to close-ups of handle bars and fenders, to a quasi-naive painting of a crazed looking clown fleeing the scene of a crime. He is, of course, using a bicycle to make his escape.
The couple's daughter, Zoe Arkfeld, did two graphite drawings for the exhibit, both with the same title: “In Memory Of.”
Drew Davis did his impressionistic oil painting “Afternoon Ride” especially for the show, using a photograph he came across as reference. “I usually don't use other people's photos,” said Davis. He put a bike in a painting last year, and a friend suggested he do something for this exhibit. Davis has been active in the art world since 2002, when at age 16 he was in the San Luis Artists Gallery in the Creamery. He works in a wide range of styles, has been in numerous exhibits and now has his own working studio in downtown San Luis Obispo.
Cayucos artist Patrick Martinez's acrylic-and-ink painting is titled “That Old Bike Magic.” It shows a wolf in the foreground, as sparrows perch on an overturned bicycle. “That was pretty particular for the bike show, not my usual content,” said Martinez. Although it seems fraught with symbolism, it isn't, according to the artist. His use of dashed lines and flowers “kind of give me the movement that I'm looking for in my paintings,” but contain no hidden meaning, he said. With no formal training, other than a couple of classes at Cuesta, in the six years he's been painting, he's had two shows, including one at the Artery.
In spite of the Norman Rockwellish title, “Boy and His Dog,” Kabe Russel's drawing shows a skeleton riding a bike, followed by a canine skeleton. Skeletons are also Matt Foote's theme, with one dressed in Victorian costume riding a bike of that era. It's rendered in pen and ink, with Oriental poppies in red watercolor.
Jim Marx's paintings are more traditional, two life-like versions of “Bicycle Against Wall,” autumn leaves in the background.
Bob Canepa gave his photo of bikes resting in the sand a tongue-in-cheek title: “Bicycle Beauties.” It's easy to imagine the colorful bikes as bikini-clad women.
A unicycle also found its way to the show, such as one being ridden by a satyr, untitled, by D. Lewis Zoll.
The front display window provides ample space to show some assemblages and clothing from bicycle parts.