September 16, 2014

The Power of Art and the Power of Helmets

Our most important takeaways from the Interbike show that just ended in Las Vegas are the astonishing international power of art and the great way that Nutcase helmets can help bring that art out into the world.

When we came up with the Unframed campaign we couldn’t really foresee the small tribulations (unpredictable weather, unpredictably prolific artists!) as well as the triumph that would be involved in working with live art production at the world’s premier bike shows – Eurobike and Interbike.

And we were a little unprepared but happily surprised by how showgoers absolutely loved to watch art being made. That’s ultimately not so surprising, as seeing the creative process and talent in progress are part of the wonder of being human.

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Drawing a crowd at Eurobike

And just as much as the people at the show loved watching the artists, the artists enjoyed the people contact. While our artists Sandra Ramirez (Colombia) and Ray Moore (Germany) were a bit apprehensive about doing art in public (our third artist, mural expert Todd Standish from San Francisco, had had plenty of experience with it), all three found that interaction was a positive.

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The artists at rest (l to r) Todd Standish, Sandra Ramirez, Ray Moore

“I was nervous about painting live,” Sandra said. “But that feeling disappeared the moment I saw my Locombia helmet. It was a dream come true – seeing my monsters living on a product was amazing. I loved the people coming by to check on our progress, and also knowing that my art is going to help people get bikes is truly great.”

Todd Standish was inspiring and also inspired.

“I was not prepared for the warm reception not only from the generous, passionate, fun, and fabulous Nutcase team, and the folks at World Bicycle Relief, but also from the biking community at large. My fellow artists and I were treated like mini-celebrities,” Todd said. “And though I’ve commuted by bike for two decades I’ve never been active with local groups – after the shows, I left feeling energized by the biking community, and feeling a great bond wth my fellow bikers.”

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Ray Moore deep at work

Instead of simply a globe of polystyrene and hard plastic to help protect your brain, we’ve discovered helmets can also be a billboard for displaying art, and creating connection between people, even across cultures and countries.

Though it’s really no easy feat transferring artwork rendered in 2D to a spherical 3D helmet (more on that later this week!), the great response to Unframed has reinforced our conviction that fresh art belongs on fresh helmets.

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Detail from Todd Standish’s art – our 2015 Varsity Stripe helmet

Artist Ray Moore agreed. “I enjoyed the opportunity to reach a different audience with my artwork and to donate the art to World Bicycle Relief made me feel I can change lives in a positive way,” Ray said. “The next thing I am looking forward to is seeing ‘my’ helmet speeding down the street. Keep art in motion, baby!”

The Nutcase Unframed art auction conducted at Interbike to benefit World Bicycle Relief resulted in proceed over over $7,000, or 53 Buffalo bikes to change people’s lives for the better.

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