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Beer + Art + Bikes = Fun

Beer + Art + Bikes = Fun

Dakota Sexton

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The "poster party for bike people" called ARTCRANK has a simple premise: make it easy to cram craft beers, bikes, and upwards of 40 affordable, yet carefully handmade posters (designed exclusively by local artists) into one pleasant evening. You can check it all out this weekend in Minneapolis. But what's more, it doesn't particularly matter how much you ride, or if you ride at all.

The show's founder Charles Youel told bike advocacy group bikewalkmove in 2012 that ARTCRANK is an attempt to "change how people look at and think about bicycles," notably, without any of the bullshit that can accompany stepping into a bike shop as a novice cyclist. (Comment on this with #NotAllBikeShops and the first five slaps are free, y'all.) The show aims to function as a low-pressure way to appreciate art, build up the cycling community, and get more butts on bikes.

That mission has really taken off. Last year, despite temperatures in the 40s and bouts of heavy rain, a crowd of over 6,000 showed up for ARTCRANK in Minneapolis. In addition to its annual show in the Twin Cities, ARTCRANK has launched shows in 14 other cities as well, including London, Paris, and Austin. The organization additionally supports the cycling community by putting profits from each party toward a different cause—in Minneapolis this year, proceeds from beverage sales will go to World Bicycle Relief.

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JUNKYKID

But we don't want to tell everyone about this weekend's ARTCRANK just because it uses art to increase accessibility and spark change. Actually (selfishly), this year's Minneapolis show features work by Paper Darts contributors like Anne Ulku and repeat partner-in-crime Allegra Lockstadt, who collaborated with Christopher Alday to make a poster.

Lockstadt and Alday are avid cyclists. "Our bikes are our beautiful steeds," says Lockstadt, adding, "For us, we like that we can customize our bikes to fit our aesthetics and frankly, ourselves."

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                 BEN NYLEN

ARTCRANK provides artists with some select guidelines for the design and production. The rest, like what specific paper to use and what print shop to get posters produced by, is up to the individual artist. For their poster, Lockstadt and Alday chose to print at Leg Up Studio, a community studio started in 2011 in Northeast Minneapolis to provide artists with an affordable place to learn (and practice) print arts. 

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ALLEGRA LOCKSTADT AND CHRISTOPHER ALDAY

For the design, the duo decided to create something that would celebrate biking and incorporate the artists' joint interest in knock-out type. From a distance, the type dominates the poster. Up close, it's easy to spot that it also depicts a dense scene of bike life through all four seasons. This kind of participation is pretty key to Lockstadt, who likes viewers "to engage and have fun with" an illustration.

Go check out all 40 posters created exclusively for the show this weekend, on May 31, from 4:00 to 10:00 p.m. at Shelter Studios, 721 Harding St NE. More info is available here.

Oh, and did I mention that buying a couple of beer tickets at this show gets you an extremely dope pint glass? I didn't? Sorry guys. Go to this weekend's ARTCRANK for the beer, the bike-themed posters, and the extremely dope pint glasses. Nice Ride Minnesota will also provide enough bike racks for upwards of hundreds of bicycles, plus complimentary valet bike parking.

P.S.: The fine folks at ARTCRANK always need a ton of volunteers to help run each event. Get more info by contacting Patrick Murphy.

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