In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic this May 2020, our allstar friend and colleague Racheal Rios created and shared a playful, unique mask on her Instagram each day. Some were made of all-natural materials, some edible, and some made of salvaged items, all on her page at @rachealrios. Check out this mask made of all BICAS art parts that she created this past week! We love Racheal’s work and how it supports our mission of creative upcycling. Make your own BICAS salvage crafts by visiting the ‘SALVAGE’ section of our online shop at etsy.com/shop/bicasart, going live June 1, for usable bike craft parts, craft kits and more. Stay safe, everybody.
As community artists, have you had the chance to be involved with BICAS art? If so, in what capacity?
In the past we’ve only really been involved with BICAS art through the annual auction. Racheal has donated art work and Rebecca has volunteered time. We always love to go to the auction.
What are your favorite memories of time spent at BICAS?
The auction is always a good time. Over the years BICAS has been a rad and essential resource for all things bikes. Fixing, buying learning— all the bike things.
Given the current COVID-19 pandemic, how does the work you’re doing now tie in to BICAS’ vision of empowered and sustainable Tucson communities?
We can draw similarities in the sense that we both want to see overlooked parts of the community thrive. Right now the examples of mutual aid happening in Tucson is really inspiring and what keeps us all grounded and help us moving forward.
What are you working on during the pandemic?
Right now we are reworking some of the things we made originally for the show at UA art museum. The shows are really amazing and focus on the border and the art program in the prison. Maybe as things evolve with social distancing people will be able to see the show again or perhaps it will be made accessible in a whole new way. The bandanas and tote we made for that show seem to have an entirely new meaning now with all the stuff going on and it seemed like a good time for us to work with what we have and find new ways to support people. That’s exciting in the sense that we are constantly revisiting and reworking what we do. We are starting a new bandana now and looking to do another print. It always feels a little tricky to figure out what people might respond to but since we both have strong opinions once we get to the point of agreeing on things it usually turns out.
What projects of yours are you excited about?
Just like everyone else right now, we’ve had to stop and regroup. We had some really great projects planned with different poets and artists that are creating bodies of work around mass incarceration and that has come to a complete stop. We look forward to everything we do because we have the luxury to not have expectations or guidelines dictated by anyone outside ourselves which on some days is enough. We don’t know that excited is what we might call it at this moment but we are grateful to be able to see what comes out of this as things crumble.
Racheal and Rebecca can be contacted through their website, https://www.rryrz.org, or Instagram, instagram.com/rr_y_rz.