SRAM, the folks that make really nice bike compenents, has gotten all arty for a good cause. The company has commissioned 47 sculptors to make art from SRAM bike parts, all to be auctioned off starting this Sunday, to raise money for World Bicycle Relief (WBR).
WBR was starte by SRAM about six years ago. The organization serves people in underdeveloped regions of the world who suffer from lack of access to health care, education, and economic opportunity. The idea behind it: with a bicycle you can travel four times farther, carry five times more, and save up to three hours a day in travel time (based on a 10-mile commute). So you can get to a doctor, to school, or to work faster and more safely. The upshot: doors closed by distance are opened by bikes. Since the organization was founded, it's put 91,875 bikes in the field.
SRAM recruited sculptors to volunteer their time for this project. The company ultimatey sent 46 artists each a box with 100 SRAM parts and pieces from spokes and brake levers to cranks and seat posts. The artists had two months to use at least 25 parts in a sculpture not bigger than two feet by two feet, and under 70 pounds.
The works they created were displayed at Interbike in September. Now they are also being displayed in a juried exhibition at Gallery 1028 in Chicago and sold to collectors in an online auction. The exhibition opens on November 30. The price of admission: $134, the amount it costs WBR to provide a bike.
The artist receiving top honors in the juried exhibition will be awarded a trip to WBR headquarters in Africa. Second and third place winners will each receive a pair of bikes. Runners up will just have to see if there is anything left in the parts box they can swap onto their own bikes.
The pART Auction is the brainchild of SRAM Marketing Chief, David Zimberoff. "I like to come up with out of the box ideas to promote SRAM," said Zimberoff, "and I always try to incorporate art, or if not art, food, into the project." Zimberhoff has set Buy It Now prices as high as $50,000 for some sculptures. He hopes to raise $100,000 through the auction for WBR.
Bidding opens Sunday November 20 at 9PM central standard time, and closes November 30 at 9PM Central standard time. Opening bids will be in the $500-$1000 range.