Thursday, August 16, 2012

challenge accepted

This summer I was invited to submit a sculpture for the SRAM Part Project.  I did a little research and realized that this was a pretty big deal and saw that it was a cause that I would be happy to support.  The SRAM Part Project invites selected international artists to create a 3D work of art using SRAM parts.  It's fine if you don't know what SRAM means.  I didn't either.  SRAM is a maker of high performance bicycle parts (  The works of art are shown in a high profile venue and auctioned off to raise funds for World Bicycle Relief ( an organization that provides bicycles to villages in Africa and other places where bicycles can be life changing additions to a family. 

I do not normally engage myself with mixed media or assemblage work.  I don't mind being honest with you....I'm just not great at working with "found objects".  But I was in the midst of a summer sculpture frenzy and it was a good cause, so I decided to accept the challenge.  After I agreed to participate UPS dropped a box of this off at my door:

Those would be SRAM high performance bicycle parts.  And that would have been the moment where I wondered just what I'd gotten myself into.  The box contained at least 100 parts.  Some were larger, some were smaller and most of them were unidentifiable to me. 

The SRAM Part Project contest requires that you use at least 25 parts in your sculpture.  The parts can be manipulated in any way but they must be present.  Some of you will notice that this sounds like one of my 3D Design projects.  If so you should take a moment to laugh at me getting a taste of my own medicine.

Blue and Violet loved the parts.  They sat in the floor and marveled at them as I unwrapped each one and spread the pieces out across my drawing room floor.  I quickly separated several parts that fit well with an idea I had and then spent the next few days answering "I don't know" when the kids continually asked "What are you going to make with those pieces?"

With a project like this it was important to me to make something that would fit in with my current body of work.  If I was essentially donating a small sculpture to this cause, I at least wanted the experience of making it to help develop and further my ideas.  I wanted the sculpture to end up looking like something I would make and something that would make me smile. 

And here's the result:

"The One With The Zizwheel"
19" x 16" x 18"
Powder Coated Steel and SRAM Parts

Soon I'll ship this one off to New York.  The fundraising event will be in a New York City gallery in November.  Prizes will be awarded by a jury panel and the art will be sold in a live auction. 

By the way, that's Pearlescent White powder coating and it is sweet.

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