Seven-year-old Nathaniel Jones couldn’t stop walking around the Jorge Hulian Gallery in South Miami Friday night.
Nathaniel’s eyes grew wide when he saw a bicycle with colorful beaded work by artist Maximiliano Pecce from Argentina. The shapes were attached to a silver aluminum frame that instead of black tires had beads in green, pink, blue, yellow, red and white.
“It looks like they used heat to melt the little balls together,” said Nathaniel, a student at the Miami Children’s Museum Charter School on Watson Island and son of Venezuelan sculptor Alejandro Mendoza. “It looks like a toy.”
The sculpture is part of a collection of 14 donated bicycles that artists mangled, twisted and covered with metal, paper, plastic, tape and other objects for the ArtCycle project, which is meant to promote bicycle safety. They will be at the gallery until Jan. 20 and will be auctioned at the Coral Gables Museum Jan. 23.
An interactive sculpture caught Nathaniel’s attention for about 15 minutes. Costa Rican artist Gioconda Rojas created a mobile out of hanging bicycle parts like crank sets, drive trains, and free wheels that rotated every time Nathanial moved the pedals with his hands.
“She wanted to invite people to go back and be in touch with their childhood. This is why she put the bicycle upside down and added movement to the wheel,” Co-founder and director of ARTCycle Giselle Delgado said. “She had worked with bicycles before and really wanted to participate. She has exhibited here in Miami before and The Americas Collection is the gallery that represents her here.”
The bicycles were exhibited all over Miami’s Wynwood neighborhood during Art Basel in 11 different locations. As part of Fountain Art Fair in Midtown, Delgado helped to organize a bike tour. The idea is that the funds raised will support Green Mobility Network’s Safe Streets Miami educational programs, Delgado said.
The artists involved: Aida Tejada, Janet Mueller, Katiuska Gonzalez, Nancy Martini, Mariano Costa-Peuser, Elito Diaz, Gioconda Rojas, Lucinda Linderman, Maximiliano Pecce, Johanna Boccardo, Erwin Georgi, Giselle Delgado Buraye, and Astolfo Funes.
“Their vision is one that would benefit the entire community,” said John Edward Smith, editor of SoMi magazine. “Every neighborhood in Miami needs bicycle safety.”
Delgado, born in Bogotá, said she misses the Ciclovía — a weekly event when authorities close sections of the street so that bicyclists can enjoy the space. She now lives in Kendall and works in Miami.
“I love La Ciclovía that is something that we would love to see happening here in Miami,” Delgado said. “Perhaps with projects like these we can keep people interested and prevent accidents and deaths such as the ones we have seen recently.”
Delgado plans to auction the 14 sculptures at 6:30 p.m., Jan. 23, at the Coral Gables Museum, 285 Aragon Ave. For information, contact Delgado at 786-488-8867 or Ternacreative@gmail.com