Art and bikes have a storied and passionate marriage. From the 1920s photographs of the Tour de France to the custom painted frames of today, artists have long been attracted to the two-wheeled canvas. Local artists Heather Tompkins and Nazir Agah are taking this love even further with their participatory art project, Papergirl SF.
Papergirl collects art from all over the world, rolls it into newspaper bundles, and enlists a group of people on bike to deliver the art—a la paperboy style— to passersby on San Francisco streets. Their 2010 inaugural ride delivered more than 300 original art rolls. In their one-day, high-speed art delivery, everything from letterpress cards to hand-drawn zines to watercolor was tossed to unsuspecting art collectors. This year, on their October 29th delivery day, they're hoping to get even more original artwork into the hands of San Franciscans. The delivery project is only one component of the Papergirl project. They also hold a gallery exhibit of the work from October 15-22 at Incline Gallery, where you can see the art before its bundled in bunches and thrown from the seats of bikes.
Tompkins and Agah are accepting submissions of artwork until October 8. The only criteria: it has to be rollable. Artwork can be dropped off at Public Bikes in South Park or Mission Bicycle Company on Valencia, and will be featured in the Incline Gallery exhibit. And if you’re still itching for your glory days of playing Paperboy on Atari, you can join in on the delivery service.
Kristin Smith started riding bikes at 3-years-old and hasn't stopped since then. A long time rider, racer and commuter, Kristin has spent the last five years writing about San Francisco's active bike culture. She is the newly appointed Communications Director for the SF Bicycle Coalition.