Earlier this month, Caroline Macfarlane and Vanessa Nicholas caused quite a stir when they decided to give a retired Raleigh locked outside the OCAD Student Gallery on Dundas Street West a much-needed makeover, turning the abandoned and rusting bicycle into a neon orange work of public art. At first, the city responded by slapping a removal notice on the bike for the two artists’ efforts. But then local councillor Adam Vaughan stepped in to save the day, and apparently the bike will remain where it currently stands. Now, that little orange bike has spawned an entire public art movement—The Good Bike Project—and even Rob Ford is behind it.
The National Post has the details:
Mayor Rob Ford threw cycling and public art enthusiasts a curveball on Wednesday by boarding a neon bike that had garnered attention when the city ordered the art project removed from a downtown street.
Mugging for cameras in council chamber, Mr. Ford’s impromptu photo op came following the launch of “The Good Bike Project,” which will reclaim abandoned two wheelers, paint them bright colours and place them around the city.
We think it’s about time public art caught a break. As Ford’s clean-walls crusaders continue to purge the city’s concrete canvases of graffiti tags and commissioned murals alike, we like to think the Good Bike Project is something of a coup for artist-rebels against the paint-removing powers that be. Heck, even Ford took the neon piece of public vandalism for a spin at city hall, jolly grin and all. Score one for the rebellion.