Traditionally, the month of May has been recognized as Salt Lake City’s Bicycle Month. In the past, the city has held all sorts of cycling-related events to celebrate. Last year there was the Mayor’s Bike Bonanza––a festival at the Gallivan Center promoting cycling downtown and local bicycle dealers. The Commuter Challenge spanned throughout the entire month to encourage people to ride their bicycles to work and on other daily commutes. This year promises a bike month with festivities that go above and beyond what has been done in the past. Of everything planned, one event clearly illustrates the community aspect of those who love cycling in Salt Lake City and, subsequently, captures the spirit of the entire month. Mixing art and cycling of all kinds is Salt Lake’s first ever bicycle art show: The Salt Lake City Bicycle Company and SaltCycle.com’s Gallery Roll.
Zed Bailey, creator, moderator and driving force of SaltCycle.com came up with the idea for the bicycle and cycling themed art show along with Brent Hulme, who owns The Salt Lake City Bicycle Co. downtown. “I felt we needed a gallery to represent the cycling culture in Salt Lake City,” Bailey said, “I thought that the Salt Lake City Bicycle Co. might be a good place to do it, because when you go into their shop, they sell all kinds of bicycles—not just one kind.” Bailey feels that Hulme’s bike shop caters to the bicycle community as a whole instead of just a niche or two.
One step into Hulme’s bicycle shop and it’s easy to see why this particular shop might be the perfect place for an art show. “Our store is a Trek Concept Store and a good amount of the 70 or so Trek Concept Stores around the nation are set up in strip malls,” Hulme said, “I wanted the store to be downtown and when I found this cool 100-year-old building, I told the Trek guys ‘You’ve got to see this building!’” Hulme got what he wanted. His bike store, just shy of a year old now, is in a historic building, outfitted with giant windows on the east and south sides that let in natural light all day, making it the perfect place for an art gallery. It wasn’t on accident that he was attracted to the building. “Two things I really like in life are bikes and art,” said Hulme. “We’re not prepared to become a full-time art gallery but I like the idea of selling prints and being able to someday promote local artists more.”
Brent Hulme (L) and Zed Bailey (R) hang out in front of SLC Bicycle Co.
A bike-themed art show isn’t a new concept. Last month a huge show called Art Crank was held in Denver. However, the Denver show didn’t take place in a bike shop. “The concept really intrigued me and I don’t know of any other bicycle shops that have tried something like this,” Hulme said. He had considered inviting an artist from New York City who does bicycle related artwork to have a show in his bike shop, but it wasn’t until he mentioned the idea to Bailey that Gallery Roll started to become a reality. Hulme said that Bailey really helped him out by taking all of the organization of the event off his plate. “Zed really grabbed the bull by the horns and made it happen.” The Gallery Roll is open to both local and national artists working in any medium. The main requirement is that the art be related to cycling. “There will probably be lots of photography, although someone I know is submitting paintings and we’re actually having a chop shop where we will be making bicycle sculptures,” Bailey said. “We are actually accepting bicycles as sculptures too, as long as the bike was made by the artist.”
The Gallery Roll will be a great celebration of the different aspects of Salt Lake City’s bicycle culture. “ I drew most of my ideas from the community itself and all of the different events that we have: alley cats, community rides, bike polo, jousting. I just wanted to have a reflection of that community placed into an art show,” said Bailey.
He explains that he is most concerned about the bicycle community as a whole. “It gets people more excited about cycling again and on the Gallery Roll’s opening night, the Mayor’s Bike Bonanza will be happening down at the Gallivan Center. People visiting the art show can walk or ride two blocks down the street and experience more bicycle culture in action!”
To learn more about the many events of Bicycle Month as well as the Gallery Roll visit the SaltCycle events calendar at SaltCycle.com/events. The Gallery Roll is taking place at the Salt Lake City Bicycle Company (177 East 200 South). The show will hang from May 15 to June 1.