Tag Archives: Featured Artist

June Featured Artist: revolta Art

 

Monique of revolta Art in their studio

ART STORY

“In my early teens, I fell in love with drawing and decided I wanted to be an artist when I grew up. Drawing was accessible, something I could do from anywhere with paper/pen, and eventually it became a tool for emotional release, stability and healing. Being an introvert has allowed me the space to explore many different mediums like printmaking, welding, collage but I always come back to pen and paper.

 

Currently, I’m focusing on the vibrant Sonoran Desert flora and fauna seen while riding through the city and MTB trails and painting them in bite-sized chunks. I’m a fan of celebrating little “magic moments” like a blast of Mexican gold poppies tucked in a pile of gray-tone rocks or the 30+ foot tall saguaros that tower over native trees. There’s so much resilience and wisdom in surviving this harsh desert and I’m inspired by it all. My current work is mostly small scale 2D water-based painting and drawing on salvaged materials, but I dabble in upcycled bike jewelry and the occasional small sculpture to keep my hands busy. 

 

Using natural and reclaimed materials is an important part of my practice. While my environmental impact is minimal, I’m a firm believer that change comes in small waves and if more people/artists rethink their consumption and creative material use, we can ensure there’s more left for those who come after us and hopefully make a positive dent in our communities. Plus, it’s just cute to extend care to circles and spaces beyond our own!”

Reclaimed wood painting by Monique

BIKE STORY

“Another love story. My passion for bicycles started in a tiny mountain town [Flagstaff] circa 2003 that had everything within a few miles which was great for commuting and way more affordable than driving. What I didn’t realize was how much I would gain from riding bicycles. There’s more intention that goes into errands and daily existence (for example transporting groceries, dressing for extreme weather, avoiding traffic and rough roads). Bikes connect people to our bodies, our boundaries, our community and the land we occupy. Being car-free for over a decade taught me self-reliance, emotional clarity, confidence, how to fuel myself and the symbiotic relationship of maintaining my bike.”

Monique and their bicycle spoke earrings

BIKE MECHANIC STORY  

“Bike shops felt really inaccessible and intimidating and fortunately Flagstaff had a small bike co-op, like a mini BICAS. That space was open once a week and empowered my curiosity around bike repair. There weren’t many free online mechanic videos so self-education was reading the 2-3 bike repair books from the library and then plenty of trial and error.

 

When I moved to Tucson in 2009, BICAS became a 2nd home where I volunteered, gained more hands-on experience and was eventually hired as an employee. Those 7 years helped shape my passion for collaborative community involvement, creative reuse and bike education. For the past 4 years, I wrenched at Transit Cycles-and had the pleasure of working on more modern and custom bike builds, attending mechanic workshops, networking with other FTWNB (femme trans women and non-binary) riders and playing with all the fun and blingy modern components/tools my little greasy hands could handle.”

 

It was a joy getting to hear Monique’s story, and BICAS is forever grateful to them for their community work and involvement! Thanks for your sharing Monique. Follow them and support their work by clicking the links below.

webstore: revolta.etsy.com

instagram: @revolta_art

Upcoming art event: BICAS Art Mart (May 16, 9am-1pm)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Published June 2021

Featured Artist: Jenna Tomasello

Jenna Tomasello is a local Tucson artist who specializes in mural and faux finish painting, and  has a product line of desert inspired, artisan made bandanas. 

You may recognize her Star Wars Cantina mural for Tallboy’s Restaurant on 4th ave, the sunset  mural on what is now the Pima Area Labor Federation offices on e. Pima, and a community  paint by number mural in the Subspace Artist Studios. 

You can find her online at www.jennatomasello.com and follow on instagram at @jennatomasello

What is your story as an artist? How did you come to be a professional muralist? 

The first ever mural I painted was one where I was assisting a friend on their project, and I  realized “I could do this”. That moment was the inspiration that got me to look at my art as a  career. I started seeking out painting jobs in order to learn how to approach my work as a  trade and a business. I painted sets for theaters, did conventional house painting, murals,  and worked alongside many skilled craftspeople whom I continue to learn from and refine my  skills with. 

I started designing my bandanas in 2018 with the inspiration of having my artwork be more  functional and accessible. My bandana patterns are inspired by desert plants, animals, stars,  and seasons. I paint all of my designs by hand and I truly enjoy making them. I sell them  through my website (which I will be relaunching in mid-May) and in three local Tucson stores,  Pop-Cycle, The Ninth House Shop, and Shop at Mesa in the MSA Annex. 

We heard that the bandana project helps support local businesses. Can you tell us about that?  

Yes, it is important to me that my bandana manufacturing is done locally. The bandanas are  sewn by a women’s sewing co-op, DouglaPrieta Works, in Agua Prieta, Sonora. The patterns are screen printed in South Tucson by the union print shop, The Gloo Factory. 

What’s next for you as an artist? 

Ive been working on developing my the business end of what I do, as there is so much that  goes into running a business. I am looking to do more commercial art and murals and to grow  my bandana and product line. 

Anything else you want to share?

I hung out at BICAS a lot when I first moved to Tucson 10 years ago, it was sort of my second  home for a while. I volunteered in exchange for shop hours to build a bike. Now I have a bike  with a baby seat on it and my baby and I go on bike rides every day. So, a lot of my  inspiration is from my desert home here, I love living in Tucson. I love the desert and the  landscape and all the plants and animals, looking to the stars, star myths and different  stories… connecting ourselves to the landscape and history and stories of place and finding magic moments in that.

 

Published May 2021

BICAS Featured Artist AMG

Interview with BICAS Artist Asha Greyeyes

December 2020

BICAS Staff Artist AMG

Available on Etsy

I am from Northern Arizona, on the Navajo Reservation. I have been making things since I was a little kid and my sisters got me into jewelry making in high school. When I first started making jewelry, it was to sell to tourists who visited our area. I really enjoyed making things that were slightly different from the stuff we made to sell and when I think that really contributed to my liking of using bike parts to make jewelry. I personally really like making earrings, they are dangly and eye catching. I’d say I look at stuff that intrigues me then I just start trying to add to it. It starts off with one eye catching piece and I just try to accent or compliment something that’s already so beautiful or interesting.

Available on Etsy

I began at BICAS as a customer. My love for making things with my hand translated well into working with my hands on a bike. I now work at BICAS and still love working on bikes because once you understand how it works, your hands can just do it themselves. Plus the feeling of accomplishment is immediate, which I like. 

 

Yoo’ disxosih by AMG.

I donate to the art auction because I like to make jewelry and I wanna help the place I work. I think being able to use my creativity is a real plus side when helping a cause. I really like the auction pieces that mimic nature. The bike part animals and cactus always get me. I think it works into that love I have for paying tribute or complimenting things that are already so beautiful. 

 

I have no other place I sell or promote my work. They are only available at the BICAS Art Auction but if I ever do decide that, it will probably be how other indigenious artists do today. Instagram, USPS delivery and a payment app. 

Dzidze’ doo nizhoni yoo’ by AMG

Look for AMG’s art work and handmade jewelry on the BICAS Etsy page and in the Staff Mini-Auction up on EBAY

 

Photo of a person standing next to a large metal sculpture of a heron

BICAS Artist: Colin Holmes

Interview with BICAS Metalwork Artist Colin Holmes

November 2020

This month we got to sit down with Tucson community artist Colin Holmes @rustypedal and learn more about what has inspired his art. BICAS has been so lucky to have Colin’s support at our annual Art Auction year after year.

Tell us, what got you started making art?

Desert Scene by Colin Holmes, 2017

I’m a fourth generation Tucson resident. Growing up here, on O’Odham and Yaqui land, I’ve always been inspired by the culture of recycled art and upcycled objects.  As a kid I used to walk by a house on my way to school that had sculptures and gates and security bars made out of motorcycle parts. I remember being transfixed and excited by the uniqueness of it.  My mom was an art teacher in TUSD for decades so I grew up with the idea that creativity and art are really important to culture and community.  We used to stop and look at murals, hang out with popular local artists, and do art activities at home all the time. I remember seeing the, now removed, bicycle art on fourth avenue and thinking how amazing it was that people could take these objects that were other people’s trash and turn them into beautiful, functional and exciting art. 

What brought you to BICAS? 

In 2008 my sister started riding bikes with a BICAS program at City High called El Grupo.  She had been having a hard time in school and all of a sudden she seemed stoked about life, and riding, and the community that she had found.  She built me a bike at BICAS and asked me to start riding bikes with her.  Her enthusiasm was infectious so I was stoked to oblige. 

This brought me to BICAS and I was completely hooked from the second I walked into that post apocalyptic wasteland that was the old basement space at Citizens warehouse. I couldn’t believe how magical it all was.  Piles of trash being turned into machines and art and education and community.  The culture felt right to me. It felt like it was based on love and inclusivity.  It was so different from the corporate engineering work I had been doing as an intern at the U of A.

Franny by Colin Holmes, 2015

 

Since that fateful first trip down the ramp I really never left. Embracing the BICAS mindset was a complete paradigm shift for me. It reawakened my creative side and got me making art again.  

 

I’ve been honored to make and donate art to the art auction every year because it is labor that has really tangible positive impacts on the community.  It makes folks happy, it raises money for really important programming, and it’s just straight up cool.

 

Where do you get your inspiration for your sculptures?

Hummingbird by Colin Holmes, 2019

My art hasn’t just been informed by the objects I use to make it, it’s also influenced by the act of riding a bicycle. I’ve always felt a connection between the experience of traveling by bicycle and art made out of bicycle parts.  It’s this connection that leads me to make sculptures of my favorite feelings while riding a bike.  Sometimes it’s that moment sitting in the desert with my bike leaned against a saguaro watching the sun set over the tucson mountains, or sometimes it’s a roadrunner crossing my path on the loop, and occasionally it’s that breathtaking moment that brings me to a halt as I watch a great blue heron take off from the Sweetwater Wetlands or a hummingbird whirring around the flowers at Patagonia lake while on bike tour.  

 

Do you have a particular piece you are most proud of? 

Great Blue Heron by Colin Holmes, 2019

I’m most proud of the Great Blue Heron that I donated to the 2019 BICAS Art Auction.  Ever since I started welding and making bike art at BICAS I dreamed of making one of those special pieces that folks remember. Like Troy Neimans’s Javalina or Zach Lihatsh’s Chiuahua or Kathy Franklin’s Dragon.  For me the accomplishment of completing that sculpture felt like I had reached a next level of skill.  It was a breakthrough piece and it meant the world to me that it raised so much money for BICAS and received so much recognition from the community.

 

Check out more of Colin’s work at rustypedal.com
Follow his social media accounts:
https://www.instagram.com/rustypedal/
https://www.facebook.com/rustypedal