All Articles
All Articles


Artists align for a community poster festival celebrating bicycles

by Adrienne So
on 07 October 2010

Started in Minneapolis just three years ago, the Artcrank show was a quick, fun way to publicize local artists by inviting them to create posters about bike culture. Since then, the concept has spread with lightning speed to cities like Portland, San Francisco, Des Moines and even London. With new cities taking part every year, "Artcrank is growing roughly 10-15% faster than I can keep up with," said Charles Youel, Artcrank's director and curator—not a bad problem to have.


"Accessibility is a big part of what makes the show unique," Youel explains. Local works on display each sell for an affordable $30 apiece at each venue. "The more accessible those experiences are, the more diverse and interesting a biking and artistic culture becomes. I see people arriving on bikes, discovering local artists they've never heard of and connecting with causes. If free beer and cheap posters are the catalyst for that, it's cool by me," continues Youel.


Another central component to Artcrank is ensuring every show reflects the character of the community. At Portland's show tonight (7 October 2010) Deschutes Brewery will offer free beer at the Ace Hotel Cleaners, an old laundry facility the Ace Hotel Portland converted into their own event space. "Having local partners and sponsors who support the show is a very important part of making Artcrank a more sustainable proposition," said Youel.

Local artists featured in Portland's show include Aaron James of MathDept, Martha Koenig, the husband-and-wife team of Truen and Julia Pence who make up Craft Services Design Co. and numerous others. In many cities, Youel posts an open call for artists on Facebook or Twitter. However, in a more established bike mecca such as Portland, he often contacts the artists personally to request submissions.


"When we first started entertaining the idea of doing shows beyond Minneapolis, I thought, 'Well, this will work in places like Portland and San Francisco.' And I figured that would be it," said Youel. "Since then, we've seen the show catch on very quickly. We're betting that Artcrank can and will work anywhere that people love bikes and art. So far, it's a bet we've won every single time."


Artcrank Portland will take place at the Ace Hotel Cleaners at from 5-11pm. All proceeds from the show will go to Bikes to Rwanda, a nonprofit that provides cargo bicycles to farmers in Rwanda as transportation for basic needs and coffee hauling. Other upcoming shows include Artcrank SFO at the Chrome store, and Bend, Oregon in December.

Also on Cool Hunting: Joy Ride Art Shows

The CH25 is a showcase of creators and innovators from a broad range of disciplines who are currently working to drive the world forward.

Matt Kenyon

Fusing art and technology to disrupt concepts of corporate America

Read More
I want the work to live in the world and circulate, so it can generate more dialogue

Melissa Kushner

Addressing the needs of orphans and vulnerable children in Malawi through microenterprise

Read More
Poverty is complicated, there is an increasing temptation and pressure in the development space to oversimplify things

Pauline van Dongen

The Dutch designer blazing the wearable technology path

Read More
I’m fascinated by concepts of change, movement, energy and perception; since they are closely related to the way we experience the world

Meredith Perry

How searching the Internet helped a 22-year-old invent wireless electricity

Read More
It’s not about where the information is, it’s about how you use the tools

Corinne Joachim Sanon

The chocolatier bringing social change to Haiti and bean-to-bar chocolate to the world

Read More
Seeing the poverty surrounding me and the lack of jobs and opportunity bothered me

Eelke Plasmeijer

The locally driven restaurant that’s upending Balinese food culture

Read More
We really try to keep things simple and let the produce do the talking

Joshua Harker

Pushing the boundaries of sculpture with intricate 3D printing

Read More
My intent was to explore and depict the architecture of the imagination, to interpret and share forms evident in the mind’s eye

Sabine Seymour

A future where smart clothes are as ubiquitous as zippers

Read More
In the future you will not buy a piece of 'functional' clothing without SoftSpot

Sarah Kunst

The entrepreneur single-handedly changing the landscape for women in tech

Read More
People who live on a planet that is half women but can never seem to find any when they need one, I have solved your problem

Tarren Wolfe

The next-generation appliance making kitchens greener—literally

Read More
Our goal is to provide food for everyone in the world, and the best place to start is in our very own community

Jonathan Sparks

Reinventing electronic music by inventing multi-disciplinary instruments

Read More
Recorded music is becoming so cheap, so the value of music is now in live performance

Douglas Riboud + Justin Guilbert

How a mission to create great coconut water led to a whole new way of doing business

Read More
We’ve made a conscious decision to be as transparent and honest as we can, and let people decide for themselves

Roxie Darling

From un-shampoo to transgender identity, the NYC colorist boldly defining the next chapter of hair

Read More
Hair color is as much a science as it is a craft

LaToya Ruby Frazier

Documenting the slow, troubling change in Braddock, Pennsylvania

Read More
I am not a journalist, I am a conceptual documentary artist using my visual expression for building narratives that are unseen and unheard

Kathleen Supové

The NYC performance artist who’s radically reinventing the piano recital

Read More
I like pieces that are virtuosic, that show off the piano and what it can do, and are awe-inspiring

Marcus Weller

Using technology to turn motorcycle helmet design on its head

Read More
I was taken aback both by the number of people that doubted it, and by the equally large number of people that got behind it

George Arriola and Monohm

An heirloom electronic for the post-smartphone era

Read More
We agonized during the design process as all hyper-obsessed craftspeople should

Leopoldine Huyghues Despointes

The young filmmaker and non-profit founder who just wants people to follow their dreams

Read More
I feel confident and ready to accomplish so much more, the movement is on

Alex Kalman

The tiny museum in Manhattan that’s redefining museums

Read More
The mission is to put this small simple and powerful tool into the hands of as many people as possible

Cynthia Breazeal

How an emotional, empathetic robot named Jibo stands to revolutionize communication

Read More
The thing that's so provocative about social robots is that it's fundamentally a community technology

Tal Danino

The bioengineer who’s programming DNA to fight cancer

Read More
[Manipulating genes] is very new, people are just learning how to program these organisms

Lulu Mickelson

A civic leader bringing change to NYC through design

Read More
Human-centered design is one of the many tools that we can use to better engage the public

Kegan Schouwenburg

Revolutionizing orthotics through 3D-printed insoles

Read More
What orthotics do is they effectively change the geometry of what your alignment is like

Vanessa Newman

Redesigning pregnancy for the post-gender generation with Butchbaby & Co.

Read More
I want my customers to feel comfortable and unchanged, in that becoming pregnant didn't take away from or compromise their identity

Dan Barasch + James Ramsey

A quest to make the future brighter—underground

Read More
We both share a passion for groundbreaking technology and a shared love of New York
Loading More...