Park Place Arts rides bicycle craze

By Kelly Dickey
The Herald Bulletin | Posted: Thursday, May 15, 2014 7:45 pm

Two new exhibits at Park Place Arts. This piece from the "Anderson Retrospective" exhibit is titled " Mother Fairchild" by Venessa DeYoung using mixed media.

ANDERSON — From afar, it looks like a normal bicycle painted white, but up close it’s easy to tell it’s anything but ordinary. Hanging against the wall is the bike’s transparent glass frame, laser-cut glass chain, hand-pulled glass handlebars and cast glass pedals and seat.

“This thing is wild,” Park Place Arts owner Eliot Reed said. "It’s one of the last remnants of the Anderson University glass program.”

The glass bicycle, called “In a Fragile State,” is just one of the pieces hanging at Park Place Arts, 515 E. Eighth St., for its new exhibit “Spring Brake.”

The bikes and board show is running concurrently with “Anderson Retrospective,” a gallery featuring work by local artist and Reed’s friend Vanessa DeYoung.

The exhibits opened May 7 and run through June 13.

For Spring Brake, Reed asked the public for art submissions related to bikes and skateboards.

“I was going for kind of a different vibe, a different crowd,” Reed said.

A lot of Reed’s friends are into bicycles and boarding, so he thought incorporating the modes of transportation with more of a street art feel would be a good choice.

Reed said he wasn’t sure what types of submissions he’d get from the public.

“You never know what people are into, but they kind of come out of the woodwork when you have things like this,” he said.

A lot of artists Reed had never met contacted him. He ended up with a variety of pieces, including a hand-painted bicycle frame and hand-painted skateboards.

DeYoung’s exhibit features work she’s created since before she graduated from AU in 2006. She’s about to move to Austin, Texas, so she and Reed decided they wanted to have a reflective exhibit of her time in the area.

Her show includes a quilt with various materials she made and dolls, but most of the works are mixed media portraits. The artwork includes portraits of women in her life including her mother, grandmother and great-grandmother.

She used materials like paint, fabric, pencils, chalk, paper and any other materials she could find for the creations.

DeYoung, who is an art teacher at Anderson Elementary, said most of the pieces in the exhibit have to do with issues and how they connect women.

“I’ve experience a lot of loss and grief and pain through different parts of my life,” she said. “I think those things are pretty universal. I think motherhood is definitely a thread that ties us all together, even women who don’t have children.”

Women have to explore different roles throughout their lives, including as daughters, sisters and professionals, DeYoung said. The exhibit deals with how women identify through those roles in today’s society.

DeYoung said she created most of the artwork when she was in college, before she was married and had a child.

“It was really interesting to pull that work out and look at it in a different phase of my life,” she said. “It’s interesting to look at that work and see how it connects to me, but in a different way.”

Park Place Arts is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

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The details What: "Spring Brake" and "Anderson Retrospective" exhibits Where: Park Place Arts, 515 E. Eighth St. When: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday until June 13.