BrainstormOverload is delighted to be amongst the forty outstanding artists just announced for ARTCRANK Minneapolis. Show opening is April, 2 2011 at Shelter Studio. Time to crank the sketch book into overdrive.

2&21 CollectiveAaron PumortAdam TurmanAesthetic ApparatusAllan PetersAmy JoAngel BombAnne UlkuBjorn ChristiansonBrian Hartley SagoBryan DunnClinton LugertCourtney Billadeau • David Dresbach • Derrick Emory AllenDWITTEvan NaganJoanne Grobe • Joe Hasbro • Jordan A. Smith & Jared A. May • Karl MadcharoKelly MunsonLaura Brown • LovelyMpls • Maranatha WilsonMegan RademacherMettle VeloMilton UnPaper BicycleRobert PflaumRyan CarlsonSara LintnerSpencer HaughSteven JockischStudio On FireTerrence PayneTim Kramer •  Todd ZergerVadim GershmanZara Gonzalez Hoang

Check out ARTCRANK’S Flickr pool of past shows.

Also check out the Sheehan Photography blog for an ongoing, daily featuring of ARTCRANK participants.

Bike Film Festival Goes MIA

Cycling and the arts will once again demonstrate they go together like chocolate and peanut butter as Twin Cities cyclists descend upon the Minneapolis Institute of Arts on Thursday, July 15th from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. for an evening of high style bike-related events including selected shorts from the Bicycle Film Festival. (The full 2010 BFF opens Friday at the Cedar Cultural Center).

The entire event is free including bike valet service provided by Freewheel Bike Shop and Dero Bike Racks. The work of Minnesota frame builders will be on display. You can pose with your own bike for photos or create a classic bike poster. Enter to win a Surly Long Haul Trucker bike; a hand-built Traitor Cycles Luggernaut frame, Chrome, and Banjo Brothers commuter bags, Twin Six gear and Nutcase helmets. Linger and listen to the music of ‘A Night in the Box’ or just plan to people and bike watch.
More on the website.
There is a group ride that will leave Gold Medal Park at 5:00 p.m. Or you can ride from wherever you are. Just point your bike in this direction:
2400 Third Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55404
(888) MIA ARTS (642-2787)

Jefferson Avenue Bike Boulevard

At BrainstormOverload we care not just about bikes, design, and design communities but we care about designing communities, too. We’ve decided it is time to put our interests and skills to good use in our own community. Wednesday night was a small but important victory for citizens in the Saint Paul area, and we were glad to be just a small part of the effort. Saint Paul gained city council approval (6-1) on the very first bike boulevard in Saint Paul. The roughly 4.25 miles of Jefferson Avenue will, in the next year or so, become an important part of the non-motorized transportation infrastructure of the Twin Cities.

In future posts I’ll write more about the policy that paved the way for this project, the people behind the effort, and what I see as the boulevard design positives and negatives, but for now I just want to revel in the warm fuzzies of a community coming together to consider public good as paramount to private good. Eight came out in opposition, largely talking about “my streeet”. On the flip side twenty-eight people agreed to speak in support of the boulevard as a small step in the right direction for our community, our street, our health, and our children. Four of which were a family from the east side of Saint Paul (far away from this boulevard). All four members, the daughter, son, mother, and father spoke about how important this step is for families who rely on safe non-motorized options in the Cities. They bike for nearly every trip from their house, and they felt strongly enough about affecting change that they took three and a half hours out of their evening to support this. I know there are many who have been involved in bike advocacy for years in our region; I commend every one of them and am inspired by their efforts to personally do more for our city and community. More to come on the boulevard implementation, but for now….a warm fuzzy public good feeling.

family with eight wheels

Mpls is Top Bike City… St. Paul?


Bicycling magazine recently released its rating of America’s Top 50 Bike-Friendly Cities and Minneapolis came out on top – displacing a number of other epic bike cultures for which I have nothing but respect. So rather than take this opportunity to gloat I’ve got two questions. First, how did this happen? Second, where is the other Twin City? After all many of us regularly cycle from one city to the other. For that matter many of us cycle further afield to Eagan, Minnetonka and other cities. It would be cool if both of the Twin Cities registered on the bike-ability scale. As a transplant to Minnesota I don’t get too bent out of shape that Saint Paul and the surrounding cities gets lumped under the title “Minneapolis” but in this case Saint Paul isn’t actually included because it is woefully behind.

It turns out that the answer to both questions is bike advocacy. And the moral of the story is that if you enjoy the bike scene in Minneapolis you owe a pretty huge debt to all the advocates who gave so generously of their time to help make that scene possible. Pay that forward by getting involved. By helping Saint Paul catch up. The movement is already happening and you can help. There are a few upcoming meetings to push forward efforts for bike-ways in Saint Paul. For instance, Jefferson Ave. from downtown to the river. There is a public hearing coming up on Wednesday, April 21, 2010 at 5:30 p.m. at 15 Kellogg blvd (in the City Council chambers) Email me if you are interested in more info. Or just show up so the powers that be can see that the human powered set is passionate about the ride-ability of both cities.

More on other projects coming soon but you can also download the Central Corridor Bike Walk plan and see if you want to get involved with this effort. Coincidentally, the latest issue of Momentum magazine (free at One On One) has an article on bicycle advocacy.

Svelt New Urban Cruiser

bike-abiciThis candy apple blue Svletina looks like another nice Dutch style ride but in fact it is a new offering from Italian maker Abici. There’s not much to give that away in the image save perhaps the racy, grouped spoke pattern. But, I’ll bet you can tell the difference if you pick it up. If you want city bike style but need to lug your bike up the stairs this series is probably worth a look. And, if the Complete Streets initiative passes in Minnesota there’ll be more bike lanes in which cyclists can safely show off there style.

pdxcross Bicycle Photos


Speaking of great bicycle photography (uh.. back in August and September) pdxcross has a very nice collection of black and white shots of cyclocross racing from the 2009 season that you’ll enjoy. Consummate air travelers will recognize pdx as the initials for that mysterious land of lefty hipsters that is perpetually shrouded from the sun. Most of the rest of the country would do well to peer through all those clouds and take a good look at Portland (arguably the leading edge of cycle culture in the USA) and see what lessons could be learned. In addition to fit people practicing good politics and good policy they’d see a pretty hardcore cyclocross scene has been hiding out there too. Rain or shine these folks race – even in snow. Worth checking out. They’ve even put together a book called Dirty Pictures and there is a page about the team of photographers.



Get Your Street Fashion Fixie



Cycling – long identified with the slightly obscure, super-fit, spandex set – has been going mainstream. Bike messengers have done for bicycling what skateboarders did for surfing. They’ve given it the patina of urban accessibility. While one might argue they’ve also tarnished the luster a little they also deserve some credit for the surge in popularity (and viability) of urban cycling. Adidas celebrates urban bike culture in a series of photos marketing their upcoming Originals OT-Tech collection (not on the Adidas site yet) as seen here on Hypebeast. Here are two of my favorite photos. If you want to see these kicks in person check in with my man Jason Sack. If he doesn’t have a pair nobody does.

These cyclists are incredibly talented by the way. I’ll post some videos of the outlandish moves these riders have developed when they aren’t busy racing your package across town or hanging out at Pizza Luce.

Picture Your Life Cycle

Those of us in Art Director type roles often have a different experience with photography than your average Ansel Adams fan. We find ourselves doomed to search for nuances in the arrangement of sesame seeds in a series of 600 hamburger photos looking for the shot that will out sesame seed the competition. Or, worse yet, if you are on the production side of things photoshop out the single, deal-breaker, symmetry-destroying, sesame seed the art director feels will result in a catastrophic drop in hamburger bun sales.

Lay down your loop or your stylus my friend and just enjoy this collection of terrific photography (and links to more of the same) about your most favorite thing – bicycles.

Photographer Eddie Clark captures racing and free style moments.


Adam Leahy Photography
Adam shoots race and recreational cycling as well as doing some commercial work. Thankfully bikes don’t have sesame seeds.


Rolf Hagberg Photography
Rolf takes a different approach and is exploring cycling as a foil for creating beautiful, abstract images.


It’s refreshing to see bicycles in advertising (haven’t we had enough cars as props). Outlier makes fashion for cyclists so the connection is obvious but don’t these photos convey a hip, urban culture aesthetic?


Check back in soon. As cycling continues to catch on (and hopefully replace the automobile as pop culture icon) and I continue to find talented cycle-friendly photographers I’ll share them here. Until then ride to live – live to design.

You Gotta Love The Ride


I love the first few issues of a new magazine when the emphasis is heavy on design and a faithfulness to the mission. Those early issues are wonderful even though their success often attracts enough advertising that the original magazine winds up so buried in a sea of pharmaceutical and automotive ads that I can no longer even find the table of contents. Let’s hope that is not the fate of this sweet new cycling rag out of Britain (am I the only one who misses calling it Great Britain btw?) called The Ride. It’s got a great low-fi feel that fits my experience of cycling’s semi-underground. The kids out inventing new tricks or pounding out mileage in the middle of nowhere (as apposed to all the expensive spandex you can see any evening on Summit Ave.)

But I digress. Importing one of the first two issues is pretty spendy at roughly 23 bucks but these guys are still hungry remember. So they’ve generously offered to let you download a pdf of the premier issue for nothing more than the time it takes the electrons to jump across the pond. Then again if you can spare the 23 bones I’m sure they’d appreciate it and you’ll have a collector’s item from before it contained seven pages of SUV ads.

Go Ride.