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Artcrank Celebrates 10 Years of Bike Art

The pop-up art event honors its "greatest hits" at anniversary show.

Erica Riveraby Erica Rivera
Artwork: Detail from “Prince’s Big Adventure” by Andy Lund.

Bikes. Art. Beer. This trifecta has made Artcrank an enduring pop-up art event. Though the concept originated in Minneapolis in 2007, the bike-themed poster art shows spread across the U.S. as well as to Paris and London over the ensuing decade. To celebrate its 10th year of cycling creativity, Artcrank is hosting a “greatest hits” show on July 8 at Fulton’s Northeast Minneapolis production brewery. Seven thousand attendees are expected.

Of the anniversary show’s theme, Artcrank founder Charles Youel says, “I wanted to acknowledge the significance of that decade, but more importantly, all the amazing work that Twin Cities artists have created. Every time I look through the posters in our collection, I’m reminded of how breathtaking it was to see them for the first time. Our audience has grown significantly from our early shows, so I wanted to give folks a chance to see — and buy — some of the posters that helped build and shape Artcrank into what it is today.”

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Fifty artists will participate in the anniversary show. Repeat contributors like Anne Ulku, Adam Turman, Jennifer Davis, and Allan Peters – who have risen to prominence in the art world along with Artcrank – return for this show with their unique interpretations of cycling life. But Youel also made sure to include lesser-known artists from the show’s early days.

“These are the people who believed in me and the show when I didn’t know exactly what I’d started or where to take it,” Youel explains. “People who helped a new standard for free art eventsturn a crazy idea into an even crazier adventure that somehow grew to resemble a business.”

During its reign, Artcrank has partnered with cycle-centric brands like Trek Bicycle, Shinola, Timbuk2, Chrome, Twin Six, and Clif Bar. It has also invited local food trucks to the fun festivities and offered valet bike parking and a water bottle filling station, setting a new standard for free art events.

The July 8 Artcrank show will have limited-edition posters priced at $40 on hand. Can’t make it in person? That’s okay. You can still stock up on mod interpretations of two-wheeled bliss through Artcrank’s online store, which rotates its selection regularly. Priced at $45 a piece, you can afford to start a collection.

Images of artwork provided by Artcrank.