Jul 30, 2015

Candy Coated on Our Custom Indego Bikes

by: RJ Rushmore

This year, countless blue bikes have hit Philadelphia’s streets with the new Indegobike share program. Now, in a partnerhsip with Indego, the Mayor’s Office of Transportation & Utilities and the Better Bike Share Partnership, we’ve release 10 “unicorn” bikes into the program. Unicorn bikes are custom bikes that differ from the standard Indego colorway and design. The 10 custom bikes were designed by students in our Art Education program and Philadelphia’s own Candy Coated, and you can find them distributed at Indego hubs all over Philly.

Next time you’re standing at an Indego bike rack, don’t just take the first bike off the rack. Take a moment to have a look at what’s there. You could be among the lucky riders to grab one of our custom bikes. And of course, take a photo and post it on social media with the hashtag #ridingmurals (just, not while you’re actually riding the bike).

We asked Candy Coated about the project, which will also include three murals. Here’s what we spoke about:

Are you a bike person?

Candy Coated: Yes!! I love bikes and have profoundly professed that for quite some time. I love them so much that I make art about/with them. To me, bikes symbolize individual freedom, freedom to explore the landscape and commute from place to place on your own power. It was a great vehicle for empowering women in the late 1800’s and always for youth – helping to develop balance, motor skills, depth perception, and is great for your body!

What was the design process for the murals?

Candy Coated: The community gave input on colors and approved the overall style of my work and inspirations for the suite of murals. I created a special diamond bike wheel/tire design that would unify all three murals with a common design element.

With that, I created many resin paintings in a studio, using stickers, spray gold dust, and screen printing. Working with a graphic designer, we arranged the designs from the paintings onto photographs of the buildings, which lets us lay out how we want the murals to look from many different possible vantage points. Once we’ve blown them up to the best, most effective, graphic size in the mock up, the paintings become sections of the murals.

The final designs will be printed on the parachute cloth in standard sized sections, and will be installed panel-by-panel directly onto the wall.

And one of the works is a huge printed ground sticker!

Were there any surprises in the design of the murals or the bikes?

Candy Coated: There will be surprises IN the murals and on the bikes- visual surprises like no other!

What attracts you to collaborative art-making projects like this one?

Candy Coated: I was invited by [Mural Arts’ Director of Art Education] Lisa Murch to work with the students and to create the suite of murals because I both love bikes and love to teach a wide range of people, especially youth, how to create art via screen printing. This was the perfect combo. We created sticker designs with the students, inspired by large scale wall and ground murals that use lots of stickers – really small to nearly huge. It’s really wonderful to share my process with others, usually what they come up with is quite remarkable and inspiring. It is great to design work that affects so many people and becomes part of the city landscape, enhancing the beauty that is already there.

How are the murals and the custom bikes connected?

Candy Coated: They are connected in a really great way! We held workshops with the students of Waring School on how to make stamps, prints, stencils, and stickers. The students made their own sticker designs and motifs that comprise the colorful bike wraps. For the murals, they will be used as textural elements in larger swaths of color.

Where do you want to see people riding the wrapped Indego bikes?

Candy Coated: Everywhere, except the sidewalk ;), especially to the museum and check out some art- both indoor and out, around Fairmount Park on the bike paths, both Reading Terminal and the Italian Market, so many places!

Thank you!

Photos by Steve Weinik

Last updated: Jan 27, 2016

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