“Martha, what is the most exciting part to you about making recycled art with parts from BICAS?”
For me, the most exciting part about making recycled art is the treasure hunt. I never know what’s going into the finished piece because I’m still looking for the parts.
“What are your favorite parts to use in salvage projects?”
My favorite bike parts to use are disc brake rotors, chainrings, and freewheel cogs.
“What do you hope to make next?”
My next project will be incorporating a chainring into a house number sculpture for my gate. I have other ideas too but haven’t designed or built anything yet.
“How are you nurturing your everyday creativity during the pandemic?”
I’m upping my culinary and home brewing games. In the past few weeks, I’ve been learning how to make mesquite biscuits, pizza, and apple soft drink. I’ve also added beer to my fermentation repertoire.
Awesome photos above are from Martha’s incredible salvage creation made from BICAS parts and other found objects! Check out Martha’s newly-launched website at http://www.westernskycommunications.com, then visit the BICAS Etsy Shop to purchase some salvage parts of your own. Parts are available for shipping or at-store pickup during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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.