KEYC - Cycling Journey Explores Minnesota Art

Cycling Journey Explores Minnesota Art

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MANKATO, Minn. -

Hitting the road tomorrow, July 18 powered by the desire to explore the creative engine, an annual bike ride aims to connect Minnesota artists and their works to eyes of the public.

"The great thing about this project is you really get a sense of what artists are making and what and who an artist is," said 410 Project Executive Director Dana Sikkila.

410 Project Executive Director Dana Sikkila is preparing to put some miles on her bicycle, setting off tomorrow morning for the third annual 410's Project Bike.

Sikkila said, "Artists this year range from working in ceramic sculpture, mixed media, mosaics, printmaking. It's all over the board so this year is really exciting."

The ten day, ten artists, 500-mile, rain or shine journey will pedal across central Minnesota first stopping in Le Sueur. From there, she'll head to Litchfield and make the way up to St. Cloud and down to the Twin Cities, concluding the journey back to Mankato, where Sikkila showcases the work of a 9–year–old student at the 410 Project.

Sikkila said, "We're really excited to highlight him this year. He's a quilt maker, he's painting, drawing, so again it's showcasing who's an artist. It doesn't matter age, background or experience."

In addition to meeting with the creators of the work, for the first time, her pedal includes a stop at a place curating masterpieces, the Minneapolis Institute of Art.

"How many times do you get a bike into an art museum, like, where do you see that?" said Sikkila. 

But this trek isn't a solo journey, with a camera crew following her on the roads and stops along the way to help spread the message of the need for art.

Grey Light Media Jon Murakami said, "People's idea of the need for it is dying and so if I can help in any way that's great because that's how I make my money and that's how a lot of people should make their money."

When Sikkila returns from this trip, it won't just be with the artists' stories but a couple of pieces from each of their works, placed on a trailer she pedals all the way.

Sikkila said, "Have never shown in Mankato or at the 410, so we're bringing artists outside of our direct arts community, bringing them into our space to connect with our creative communities."

The artwork and documentary will be part of an exhibit opening at the end of September.

To follow along with 410's Project Bike, visit their Facebook page.

--KEYC News 12