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Bike Shop Art Show


  • Experimental Station 6100 S. Blackstone Ave. Chicago, IL 60615 (map)

Opening Reception: Wednesday, May 24th, 5-8PM
Open Hours: Saturday, May 27th, 9AM-2PM (concurrent with the 61st St. Farmers Market), and by appointment
All-Ages Neighborhood Bike Ride: Saturday, May 27th, 2-4PM (weather permitting)

Featuring:
- comics, hand-painted signs, and photo projects by the youth of Blackstone Bicycle Works with Tita Thomas
- the drawings and iconic bicycle of Tommie Lee Hollins
- collaborative intergenerational art activities for all people
- tours of the exhibition led by bike shop youth
- at the opening reception: “bike shop soda” by Build Coffee, food from Rajun Cajun, and live music

This event is handicap accessible - all are welcome

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Local artist Tita Thomas has hosted a weekly art workshop with the youth of Blackstone Bicycle Works, ages 8-18, since October 2016 through the generous support of South Side in Focus. With a team of dedicated volunteers, Tita and our youth have worked on comics and zines, hand-painted signs and a documentary photo project. This is the first long-term workshop of this kind for the program.

Tita lives in the Woodlawn neighborhood of Chicago. She designs socially engaged projects and collaborative workshops, and has a personal drawing and painting practice. She is an organizing member of Assata's Daughters and a part of the For the People Artists Collective.

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Also featured in the show are the drawings and assemblage bicycle of Tommie Lee Hollins, our bike shop volunteer and friend who passed away last Fall. Tommie labored continuously on his bicycle, covering it with gadgets and compartments. His family has shared their collection of his drawings of butterflies, Egyptian pharaohs, and landscapes for the show.

Tommie was born in Tunica, Mississippi in 1945 and relocated to Chicago in 1970. He worked at Susan Ann Flower Company for many years, where he made silk flowers. Tommie was a beloved mainstay of the 61st Farmers Market and Blackstone Bicycle Works at Experimental Station.

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Blackstone Bicycle Works is a youth education program of the Experimental Station. It’s a full-service bike shop dedicated to promoting ecological practices and empowering youth—teaching mechanical skills, job skills, and business literacy to youth ages 8-18. 

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South Side in Focus is a non-profit and student group who believes in the impact of collective narratives and work to harness the power of inter- and intra-community dialogue by collaborating with community organizations.

Earlier Event: May 20
May 20th Farmers Market
Later Event: May 27
May 27th Farmers Market