Bike Love

BY: SASHA MILENA

The second annual Bike Love Art Show in Long Beach celebrates Southern California’s cycling culture with cycling-inspired art. The mixed-media art show at Vayden Roi Galleries, will feature photography, collage art, paintings, sketches and a film screening.

In addition to displayed art, a live performance piece by Danny Gamboa will take place during the opening reception on Friday, Sept. 14. Gamboa plans to create a spare ghost bike by disassembling a bicycle, painting all the parts white and then reassembling it.

“Ghost bikes are shrines to the fallen rider,” Gamboa said.

Several years ago, Gamboa and his friend Leslie Caldera began painting bicycles white and installing them near cites where cyclists were hit and killed by motorists.

The white bikes become temporary shrines, or memorials, and are now commonly referred to as ghost bikes.

“They are somber and sad, but it does raise awareness,” Gamboa said.

A screening of Gamboa’s short film, “Ghost Bike: A Cyclist Was Killed Here,” will also be shown on the opening night of the event in order to bring awareness to bicycle safety. The short film documents the installation of roadside ghost bikes in Southern California.

When planning Bike Love, Gamboa not only wanted to showcase the ghost bikes, but he also wanted to highlight the positive aspects of the biking culture.

“This event is an all-inclusive aspect of cycling culture,” Gamboa said.

The artists participating in Bike Love are avid cyclists and all art exhibited will have an element of cycling.

Gerardo Yepiz, also known as Acamonchi in the art world, is one of the 24 artists exhibiting works at the Bike Love show this year. Yepiz is based in San Diego and has exhibited his work in galleries and museums worldwide. He has chosen to participate in this year’s Bike Love because of the strong urban and bicycle themes in his paintings. The mixed-media artist creates urban-themed collage-like paintings using recycled and found objects.

Bike Love is returning to Vayden Roi Galleries again this year and all work will be exhibited in Society, one of the four spaces run by Vayden Roi Galleries. Vayden Roi Galleries was established in 2009 by Cal State Long Beach alumnus Evan Kelly. He graduated CSULB in 2006 with a Bachelor’s in Fine Arts Photography and actively advocates for the arts in the Long Beach community.

“With new shows every month in each gallery plus a variety of events each week, I believe the program has had a huge impact on the art scene and community in general,” Kelly said.

Vayden Roi Galleries’ programs are funded by the Downtown Long Beach Associates and are intended to provide an opportunity for local artists to connect with the community.

“Because the mission of this gallery program is to generate activity and help build community through the arts, I believe we are able to offer opportunity to a wider selection of artists than a gallery whose main priority is to pay rent and generate revenue,” Kelly said.

The Bike Love show coincides with the Pro Walk/Pro Bike event being held at the Long Beach Convention Center in September. The convention is sponsored by the National Center for Bicycling and Walking.

Bike Love opens Friday, Sept. 14 at Society, 635 Pine Ave., Long Beach, CA 90802. The gallery will be open every Friday from 7-10 p.m. throughout the month of September. For more information visit vaydenroi.com