March 31, 2021

Take this Self-Guided Public Art Bike Tour in April for Valley Bike Month

Cycle the Arts 2018. Photo: Scottsdale Arts.

April is Valley Bike Month, which of course means it is time for Scottsdale Public Art’s public art bicycle tour, Cycle the Arts! Read all about this year’s tour from nine-year Cycle the Arts organizer, Kevin Vaughan-Brubaker, public art manager for Scottsdale Public Art:

I have been in charge of coordinating the annual Cycle the Arts event since 2012, and in that time, the event has always taken place on a single day. In 2021, technology has advanced to such a state that we can expand Cycle the Arts to an entire month and beyond! Scottsdale Public Art and the city of Scottsdale have teamed up to present Cycle the Arts every April to show off the Permanent Art Collection and familiarize participants with bike paths and traveling by bike in Scottsdale.

We would add value to the event by organizing artists, public art staff, board members, and others from the community to discuss each art piece that was featured on the route. Organizing the speakers required the event to be done on a single day. With the advent of augmented reality technology and our partnership with the Hoverlay app, we are pleased to offer a self-guided Cycle the Arts ride, where the in-depth content is available at your convenience.

In-app screen capture of AR experience at Diamond Bloom by Curtis Pittman. Photo: Scottsdale Arts.

With the Hoverlay App on their mobile device, all a person has to do is have the app active and point their phone at a piece of public art to trigger the extra content. For example, you will see Wendy Raisanen, curator of collections and exhibitions for Scottsdale Public Art, at Lousie Nevelson’s Windows to the West, discussing the history of this piece and what it takes to keep it looking good. Wendy will also greet you at Robert Indiana’s LOVE sculpture to tell of this iconic piece’s history and where else you might find it in the world. At One-Eyed Jack, you’ll hear local artist John Randall Nelson tell why the sculpture’s location is special to him.

In-app screen capture of the AR experience at Spirit of Camelback by Kana Tanaka. Photo: Scottsdale Arts.

Our latest addition to our AR content is also on the route: Spirit of Camelback by Kana Tanaka, which features the artist’s illuminated glass saguaro blooms opening in a special animation by graphic artist Greg Krehel. Crowd favorites are featured on the route again this year: Bronze Horse Fountain by Bob Parks and Passing the Legacy by Herb Mignery. Wendy will tell you stories of the bronze horses galloping at the roundabout on 5th Avenue, while the captain of the Navajo County Sheriff’s Hashknife Posse will talk about the historic Pony Express route that the piece commemorates. Also featured on the route is our latest addition to the Scottsdale Waterfront area: Mary Bates Neubauer’s Traceries, which are artfully designed waste and recycling bins. The route wraps up with a visit to Curtis Pittman’s Diamond Bloom, where the Oregon artist discusses his inspiration for this piece located next of the Museum of the West.

The route this year is an out-and-back route instead of a loop. You can start at any location, but if you start at point A on the map and ride to all the stops, then turn around and come back, you’ll have ridden 3.25 miles. Not bad for an activity where you also get to see art and learn some interesting facts about Scottsdale and the art in Old Town.

Susan Conklu, senior transportation planner for the city of Scottsdale, holds the 2021 Cycle the Arts t-shirt featuring Jack Knife by Ed Mell.

If all this great content and exercise weren’t enough to motivate you, the city of Scottsdale is offering a free Cycle the Arts T-shirt if you take a selfie of yourself on a bike with a permanent piece on the route—or a pic of you interacting with a piece in the Hoverlay app—and send it to Susan Conklu, senior transportation planner for the city, at [email protected]. Susan will send you the event T-shirt designed by artist Daniel Funkhouser.

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