Kate Warren, executive director of Art 120, is thrilled about this year’s Chattanooga Mini Maker Faire. A participant of the inaugural 2014 Chattanooga Mini Maker Faire, Kate is looking forward to returning to the Faire again this year to show off Art 120’s Art Bike Rodeo!
We caught up with her at Art 120’s Urban Art Bike Class. The art bike program, a concept carried over from Kate’s hometown of Houston, Texas, has had tremendous success in the community and in the lives of underprivileged children.
This year, in collaboration with the Glass House Collective, Kate was able to call in the help of renowned art bike artist Natali Leduc to lead the workshop. Over the past fifteen years, Natali’s bikes have ranged from a two story mobile Rube Goldberg you ride inside to a bicycle-inflated pyramid, to the Churnatron 1400.
During this workshop, which took place from July 5 through July 14, teachers, with the assistance of Leduc, showed students how to design, assemble and embellish their own art bicycles. Warren said students in the workshop learn about the art of form, design, fabrication, engineering and problem solving – all skills they can apply to other aspects of their lives.
This year, students ranging from 11 to 13 years old created three different bicycles – a Skull Bike, a Lady Bug Bike, and a Swing Bike. After a week and a half of creating, fixing, and assembling their bikes, the students were able to ride their creations through Coolidge Park at a celebratory reception on Saturday, July 15.
These newest art bike creations will be featured at this year’s Mini Maker Faire. Natali Leduc and Art 120’s Urban Art Bike Team will be on hand to discuss the bikes and the process of creating them. Attendees are invited to take one for a spin and talk to the Art 120 team about their mobile creations!
Much like Mini Maker Faire, the Urban Art Bike Class at Art 120 is a way for children to use their imagination to invent something they wouldn’t normally think was possible. “By teaching these students the basic skills of how to fix and build a bicycle, they gain the confidence to believe in themselves and their abilities as creators and artists,” said Leduc.
Art 120 creates an interactive way to raise awareness and boost the creative community in Chattanooga. Art 120 offers programs for underprivileged youth and thrives on the mentality of, ‘what inspires the youth.’
Since the devastating fire at Art 120 on Thanksgiving Day, the opportunity to give kids the chance to design, create, and weld has been hindered. Kate and the rest of the Art 120 team are hoping to transform their current enclosed trailer into a mobile welding classroom. This will eliminate location as a barrier to local kids and help Art 120 grow the program year round. Help today at: Donate.
Be a part of this year’s Chattanooga Mini Maker Faire on September 9th. Apply to be a Maker today! Applications are due before July 31.