The team behind Artcrank-a touring art show that exhibits work by local poster designers-has taken a detour from making art about bikes toward making "bikes about art."
Artcrank founder and Director Charles Youel and lead designer Rob Angermuller-who goes by the alias Lifter Baron-teamed with Waterloo, Wisconsin-based Trek Bicycle to design a limited edition line of commuter bikes.
Artcrank began in Minneapolis in 2007 and has since spread to host events in eight U.S. cities, as well as in London. The show's directors curate events that bring together artists and designers who incorporate cycling into their work.The show also raises money for local charities.
"The artists in our shows are people who are inspired by riding bicycles, and they tap into that energy and excitement to create amazing posters," Youel said in a statement. "This was an opportunity to take that idea back to the source."
Angermuller designed the bike model called Trek District Artcrank Edition. The bikes are hand-painted and hand-assembled at Trek's Waterloo, Wisconsin manufacturing facility, and only a handful will be made. The model is described as "a sleek, stripped-down single-speed bike, with graphics dominated by bold colors and shapes that echo traditional screen-printing techniques and textures as well as pop art and Japanese animŽ."
Check out this video to learn more about the Artcrank and Trek collaboration.
Publicist Kate O'Reilly told Twin Cities Business that Artcrank is "about bikes, art, and doing good." The show typically partners with a local brewery to supply beer, and Artcrank then sells pint glasses to attendees. Each event features a benefiting sponsor, which receives all proceeds of those pint glass sales-and each show typically generates up to $5,000 for sponsors, O'Reilly said. Individual artists, meanwhile, keep the proceeds from poster sales.
While the Trek collaboration won't add to Artcrank's coffers, O'Reilly said she hopes the publicity generated by the partnership will benefit the show and potentially open doors to other collaborations outside of the poster industry.
"Trek is a behemoth in the bike industry and we're a two-person run local art show," she said. "The fact that we got their attention was exciting-and they were just as excited as we were."