“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!”
“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.”
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.
Upcoming art event: BICAS Art Mart (May 16, 9am-1pm)
Published June 2021