Another Opening …Another Show

ARTIST’S RECEPTION at THE FARM BISTRO

34 W Main Street, Cortez Colorado

Sunday June 2nd, 5 -6 pm

Greetings!

The Farm Bistro is hosting a reception for local artist Kathleen King on Sunday, June 2 from 5 – 6 pm. You are invited to join us for light refreshments, conversation with the artist, and an up close and personal look at some really fun art! Below is Kathleen’s bio, I hope you can attend!

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Kathleen King grew up in the sleepy coastal town of Pacific Beach, just north of San Diego, where she began her career as a public muralist in 1983.  The artist has designed, coordinated and executed over 75 murals for public, commercial and private spaces throughout the southwest over the past 30 years.  In addition, Ms. King has developed and conducted mural making programs for advanced art students in several inner city school districts.  The artist also has created an extensive body of work on canvas including privately commissioned pieces.

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As an avid cyclist it was only a matter of time before King’s love of the bike made it’s way onto her canvases and in 2008 the Bike Scribble was born.  Her distinctively stylized interpretation of the joy of bicycling has been embraced by the cycling community worldwide in murals, as book illustration, jewelry and apparel art, and logo design.  Many of King’s public projects have become local landmarks

In a widely diverse career, Kathleen King has worked in film, theater, television, event and media design.  Her work always has an eye and ear to the political, prescient and avant-garde with a wink and a nod for absurdity, whimsy and fun.

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Sexism, Gender Bias, or… Chivalry?

How and why menacing motorists heckle female vs. male cyclists – or not.

“Don’t you know that it’s different for girls?”

Harassment or heckling of cyclists by manic motorists on the roads of the world is a hot and seemingly inexhaustible topic in the cycling community.  Tragically, a number of these encounters result in injury or death of the cyclist.  For most, thankfully, the result of car vs. bike is more often an emotionally frustrating experience that drains a blissful bike ride of all its inherent joy.  The concerning part of that equation – and the reason why we all get in such a lather over these merely verbal taunts – is that any time an angry motorist veers toward a cyclist the potential for tragic physical injury is clear and present.  Any driving instructor will caution you that all but experienced stunt drivers will automatically and gradually point the car toward whatever the driver is looking at.  Essentially, if a driver’s attention is focused on you, he or she is going to get too close whether or not their intention was to endanger you… even if that attention is considered generally “positive”.  And that is where my perspective comes in.

I have been riding bikes for…  a long time.  I have been reading the accounts, blogs and articles concerning harassment, written almost exclusively by men, in the cycling community with increasing puzzlement.  I’ve been pondering this issue out on the pavement for some months, as car after car gives me a gracious and WIDE berth on the quiet, rural roads I’ve been riding on of late.  I think back at the seeming lack of negative encounters I’ve had even on urban and suburban routes.  Sure, I’ve been passed too close, but rarely has it seemed intentional rather than absent-minded.  The only menacing taunts I’ve ever received have been from rambunctious children in the backseat of SUVs screaming “Ride like Lance!” “Boo!’ or some other silliness.  It makes me jump out of my skin sometimes but it doesn’t oppress my soul or destroy my bike buzz.

I have been cat-called, wolf whistled and AAA-WOOed.  Like most cyclists of any age I pack fabulous back and men often voice their approval.  No harm, no foul.  There have been a few, very few, encounters that have gotten ugly.  Muscle cars with tinted windows have cruised me, passing and circling the block until I finally pull into the driveway of a lighted house or business and wait for them to lose interest.  It’s the silent ones who are really terrifying.  The worst by far are the three instances in which some moronic driver in an open car pulled up alongside me and cheered his moronic passenger on as he reached for a handful of my ass – this is a compliment no woman needs.  Ladies, if this ever occurs to you get the license plate number, stop as soon as it’s safe and call the police.  Grabbing someone’s ass without their consent is called sexual battery and when it’s done from a moving vehicle it’s a felony.  If the halfwit succeeds in his stunt with you, egged on by his bros, guaranteed he’ll keep doing it until some unlucky, nerve-wrecked girl wobbles and goes “crunch” under his wheels – when it becomes third degree murder.  Call the cops; they will take you seriously.  All three of my assailants and their drivers were caught and charged.  As unpleasant as that was, one knucklehead per decade is not that bad considering the frequency of ride-ruining run-ins with road-ragers that my male counterparts suffer through.  Are there more women out there fielding equal amounts of grief and they just aren’t writing as much?

For the most part my encounters with motorists are polite, complimentary or, overwhelmingly, blissfully non-existent.  So what’s up?  Do angry men behind the wheel recognize the curves and leave us be?  Does a guy pass me hurriedly only to see a fair face in his rear view (impinging on his right-hand turn) and think ‘oh, it’s a chick’ and cool his jets instead of yelling “Get out of my way, you stupid bitch!”?  Are men reluctant to scream at a woman in the street because they recognize it as a form of violence against women?  Do guys on bikes simply bring out the worst in guys driving cars?  Do men, already fuming over a bad day, think another bloke on a bike (protected only by a thin skin of lycra)  is a safe target on which to unload their angst, whereas hurling obscenities at a woman would just be Wrong?  Is it all ego and testosterone, rivalry versus chivalry?

I read a statistic that male cyclists killed by motorists outnumber females 7 to 1.  You could answer that simply by saying, ‘well, there are more men out there on bikes’.  Not that many more.  The majority of the men who were fatally injured were between the ages of 50 – 54, so you can’t say that it’s because men engage in riskier behavior.  What’s going on out there, boys and girls?

I think it’s a topic worthy of discussion.  Please weigh in!  Comments encouraged!

And Suddenly… BIKE ART!!

“1 km”
© Kathleen King 2008

While the memory of exactly when Crayola’s Big Box of 64 entered my world is lost in the fuzzy recollections of the toddler brain, the day I savored my first taste of freedom is clear as an early spring day.

On my fourth birthday I received a grape purple Schwinn ‘big kid’ BIKE! It came with training wheels… I tooled around on the driveway for about 20 minutes, marched into the kitchen and demanded they be taken off. My mother all flustered, my dad with a knowing grin stood 20 feet apart on the blacktop and pushed me back and forth standing farther and farther apart with each pass. After about 15 minutes of that I circled the drive a few times and rolled off down he hill. I was FREE. I yelled to my mom that I’d be back before dark.

I went to explore the canyons and visit all my little friends. To her credit, Mom, instead of freaking out and shrieking at me to come back ( I was only four) simply got on the phone to all my little friend’s moms and proceeded to track my progress through the neighborhood with the accuracy of NORAD, as I flew by kitchen window after kitchen window. It was 1968.

I became a professional artist at 19 when I sold my first painting, quit my day job and later dropped out of school (oops). But it’s taken 25 years of painting and 40 years on two wheels for the love of cycling to make the trip from my heart to my brain where it finally trickled down my right arm and hit the canvas.

So here it is, my first ever bike painting. It does have a precedent in my body of work, for those of you who are serious art enthusiasts. It follows from a series called “Scribbles” (for obvious reasons). You can see more Scribbles on my website if you like.

I’m serving it up here for ‘my people’, my bike people, like my first born. But don’t feel you have to tell me the baby is pretty. Please express whatever you’d like. The point of ART is neither to be ‘good’ nor ‘bad’, ‘right’ or ‘wrong’, but to make you think and ultimately feel in a way that you hadn’t thought or felt before you looked at it. If you happen to enjoy it, well heck, that’s gravy!

Yes, there will be more joining this one soon, pedaling hard on his heels about to catch…