Since 1997, Chicago’s Bike Winter Art Show (formerly known as the Critical Mass Art Show) has celebrated the city’s vibrant transportation cycling scene. This year’s show, curated by Steven Lane and Stuart Hall, was held at Ancien Cycles, a new shop at 688 North Milwaukee, by the Milwaukee protected bike lane. In the near future, Rollout Cafe, a bike-themed restaurant, bar, and performance space, will be opening next door.
Last Friday’s closing event for the exhibit included a fashion show featuring city bikes from Ancien’s inventory, plus an appearance by the rap group SunSurfers, who performed four songs about biking. In addition to a wide range of high-quality painting, photos and sculptures, there were a couple of works that were of particular interest to bike advocates and urban planners.
Elise Robison used text and illustrations to outline her proposal for the Chicago Greenway, which calls for reconfiguring low-traffic roads with excess capacity to create a paved bike path and parallel nature trail, lined by forest and prairie landscaping, gardens, exercise equipment, public art, and cafe seating.
Corina Schusheim’s four-page comic “Heroines of the Hipster Highway” makes an argument for the car-free lifestyle and outlines local bike resources. It features cameos from Chicago advocates and leaders, including Kathy Schubert, for whom “Kathy Plate” bridge decking is named, bike educator Dave Glowacz, West Town Bikes director Alex Wilson, and former transportation chief Gabe Klein, sporting a bright red helmet in the page above.