Art project uses old, unused bicycles

PARKERSBURG -Local residents are putting together a community art project involving old and unused bicycles.

The bike art is part of the Park Day celebration in Parkersburg, scheduled for Sept. 14, featuring downtown merchants and organizations and promoting outdoor activity and alternative modes of transportation, such as walking and biking.

The idea behind Park Day is to create a downtown block party, said Jessie Siefert, education director at the Parkersburg Art Center.

Siefert has been working with city planner Rickie Yeager and Parkersburg City Councilwoman Kim Coram on the Park Day events.

Decorated bicycles can be dropped off at the art center on Sept. 1 from 3-5 p.m. The bikes will be displayed at the art center and judged in a people’s choice awards contest.

The bikes also will be displayed during Park Day.

The art can be fun sculptures created from bike parts, said Siefert. The bike art must be family friendly and weather proof, so they can be displayed outside, she said.

Finished bikes do not have to be functional.

Artists can be any age and group submissions are welcomed. Artists can enter no more than three original works.

If you don’t have an old bike in your garage for the contest and need one, contact Kim Coram at kimberlyjo@theopam.com.

Each bike submission should include name of bike, artist, contact phone number and email address and price (if work will be for sale after Park Day).

Park Day includes plans to create “pocket parks” featuring activities in areas of downtown Parkersburg, Siefert said. Walking tours of restaurants and the historic district, along with dance classes are planned.

Groups interesting in helping with Park Day activities can contact Siefert at the Parkersburg Art Center.

The downtown YMCA, master gardeners, Schrader Youth Ballet, the Actors Guild and Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield are working with the art center and city on the Park Day project.

The Parkersburg Bicycle Advisory Board will be funding a bike rack that will feature the art center logo and be placed outside the art center this fall. The bike rack is being made by Farra Brothers Welding Co.

Steve and Bruce Farra have made displays for the Holiday in the Park at City Park and the Julia-Ann Square Historic District arch.

For more information about the bike contest and Park Day 2013, go to www.parkersburgparkday.com and the city’s website at www.parkersburgcity.com. Information also is on the city’s Facebook page.