Marty’s Reliable Cycle in Morristown will host its third annual Art of the Bicycle Show on Friday, Sept. 24, capping off Bike-O-Rama, a weeklong series of rides and bicycle-themed events around town.
We asked art show organizer Ryan Taylor, who works at Marty’s, about the origins of the show.
MorristownGreen.com: Hi Ryan. How did you come up with this idea?
Ryan Taylor: Every year the shop, Marty’s Reliable Cycle, has a holiday party and we play the gift game. Three years ago my girlfriend, Ashley Cook, painted a pop style art piece of some bicycle parts as a gift, which everyone fought over. After the overwhelming response to bicycle art work, we realized that these two cultures go hand and hand.
MG: In the past, you have had some pretty cool exhibits–like a pedal-powered waterfall and a psychedelic machine from artist Dan Fenelon. Do you feel pressure to outdo yourself each year?
Ryan Taylor: I would like to think so, but every year it seems to be harder to find artists that are willing to produce art work for a one night event. This puts more pressure on Ashley and I to produce something eye-catching.
MG: What surprises do you have planned for this show?
Ryan Taylor: Last year we added the classic and custom bike show, which added an element to the show. This year we have some interactive bike exhibits including the return of the waterfall.
MG: Bicycle Art is a pretty specialized category. Is it hard to find enough of it to put together a show every year?
Ryan Taylor: Yes, the show in the past has taken place the last Friday in June, but I had to keep pushing it off due to the lack of artists. I invited some of the past artists to participate again.
MG: What is the message you hope to get across with Bicycle Art?
Ryan Taylor: To portray that art is everywhere and anything can be made into art.
MG: Who is providing the musical entertainment? Will they be strumming bicycle spokes?
Ryan Taylor: The entertainment is still up in the air. Last year we had a DJ and the year before that we a someone playing the harp. Usually the music depicts the vibe of the show. The first year’s show was a very eclectic group of all the different types of media. Last year was more of a hodgepodge including artists, crafters and the bicycle waterfall.
Ryan Taylor: I was looking for a summer job in 2002, long summer.
MG: How much biking do you get to do these days?
Ryan Taylor: Three-four days a week, my work schedule allows me to get a lot of riding in. I would like to ride BMX more, but since Morristown doesn’t have a skate park, I decided to start mountain biking so I can ride locally, without getting arrested.
MG: You and Ashley are one of Morristown’s premiere bicycling couples. How did you meet?
Ryan Taylor: Actually the first time she called me (prank call) I was sitting in a cell in the Morristown police department for riding my bike.
Ryan Taylor: Ashley is a Denville local. She is Morristown’s premiere pet-sitter, at Viva la Pet!! She also bakes homemade, all-natural animal treats.
MG: How does the Art of the Bicycle show tie in with this year’s Bike-O-Rama? Who is organizing that?
Ryan Taylor: If you ride a bike and live in Morristown and you don’t know who Kendra is, you really don’t ride a bike or live in Morristown. Kendra Arnold runs Bike Morristown and is the developer of the Bike-o-Rama. Ashley and I work alongside Kendra as much as possible helping organize the monthly community bike ride themes and any other bicycle related events she is ready to embark on. Kendra has been waiting patiently for the “The Art of the Bicycle” to showcase a week-long event involving bicycles, Bike-o-Rama.
MG: Was Bicycle Art a hard sell to your boss, Marty Epstein?
Ryan Taylor: No, he is always down for any event involving the community and bicycles.
MG: What other events are percolating in your head?
Ryan Taylor: We are currently working on a Halloween dog parade in Morristown for the end of October this year. And with the help of Viva La Pet petsitting and MCDOG, I believe you will be hearing from us again with more on this event.
MG: Best of luck; see you on the 24th.