Progressive cities have progressive ideas. Miami certainly wants to play with the big boys, but there are so many simple gestures this town lacks that earns it the appropriate "third world" stamp many other states have assigned it. Recycling here is a joke. Green areas are few and far between, and the willing offering of the tax payers' derrieres to scheming developers has congested what was once an easily-recognizable coastline. Oh well, you can't fight all the ills at once, right?
But one that should be a no-brainer is making Miami a bike-friendly city. With the notorious amount of incredibly challenged automotive operators in this county, you'd think a concentrated effort would be made to alleviate traffic with more designated bike paths and stricter laws ensuring the safety of cyclists. Apparently, this is too much to ask for and that's why bike chefs get hassled, doctors knock over defenseless cyclists willy-nilly (which we are sure violates the Hippocratic Oath on so many levels), and Florida continuously ranks high in the nefarious fatality listings.
One organization, however, is using Miami's thriving art community as a platform to promote cyclist safety. The people behind ARTcycle have created a bond between the art and bike scenes here with a mission of creating a "road to awareness, respect, and tolerance."
Partnering with the Coral Gables Museum for an exhibit running next spring, their third annual ARTcycle will present artworks at the museum as well as public installations throughout the City Beautiful. There is an open call for artists with the application submission deadline on Monday, November 10. With the hopes of highlighting the promotion of biking and biking safety in South Florida, the exhibit and public works will be curated by Tachi Llamas and Giselle Delgado, ARTcycle's founders.
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"Your work and message as an artist should reflect and keep in mind the humanizing of the bicycle. Some motorists seem to forget that the bicyclist sharing their traffic lane is a person who has chosen to cycle for transportation, exercise or leisure activity; and that cycling yields many community benefits such as less pollution, less traffic congestion, a stronger sense of community, safer streets, improved accessibility, and economic gains," the founders state in their release. "At the same time, your piece can convey the necessity for bike riders to be aware of the traffic laws and the right for cars to share the road as well. ARTcycle 2015 should have a clear message as to the importance of bicycling culture in Greater Miami."
Bike-related art like sculptures made from bike parts, installations, or anything that sparks the imagination and creative spirit while sending the message described above are encouraged.
For an application visit coralgablesmuseum.org and click on the ARTcycle banner. To learn more about ARTcycle and their first two exhibits, visit art-cycle.org. Miami might not be 100 percent world-class just yet, but the path towards civic greatness has to start somewhere. How nice to be able to bike down that path with lackadaisical glee?