Arts & Entertainment

Somerville: Artists and Students Install Collaborative Bicycle Sculpture on Division Street

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A conceptual sketch by artist Bob Richardson of the interactive bicycle sculpture that will be installed on Division Street in Somerville. Credits: Bob Richardson
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SOMERVILLE, NJ - Artists and art students from Somerville High School, Immaculata High School, the Arts School of Newark and Middle Earth will construct an interactive outdoor bicycle sculpture on Division Street on Saturday, May 27 in conjunction with the 74th Tour of Somerville Cycling Series.

New Jersey artist and arts educator Bob Richardson has conceived and designed the sculpture, and has been creating its components the past two months with the participation of students from the three schools and Middle Earth, a Somerville-based nonprofit agency that provides services to teens and adolescents in Somerset County.

The public is invited to watch Richardson and the participating students assemble the sculpture on-site between 9-11:00 a.m.

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The students will contribute eight original paintings to the assemblage and miniature wire sculptures of bicycles that will become part of the larger piece, according to Shaun Daley, co-owner of Gallery on Main and a member of the Arts on Division initiative to provide ancillary activities related to the international cycling series that takes place Memorial Day weekend in Bound Brook, Raritan and Somerville.

After the sculpture has been assembled, other students and community members are invited to use a black or red permanent "Sharpie" marker to add their own contribution to the sculpture on the themes of community, Memorial Day, and/or the Tour of Somerville. Markers will be available.

The outdoor sculpture will remain on view on Division Street, across the street from Gallery on Main.

Known for his assemblage sculptures made of found objects and reclaimed materials, Richardson's work has been exhibited in galleries and museums throughout New Jersey and New York, including the Montclair Art Museum, Monmouth Museum and the Newark Museum.

His outdoor sculptures have also been on display at New York City's Central Park in conjunction with Earth Day and in New Jersey towns including Madison, Newark and Mountain Lakes.

In addition to his work as a professional artist, Richardson has been a teacher at Arts High School in Newark — the nation's oldest public high school for the arts — for 19 years. Recently, he collaborated with his students on a site-specific outdoor installation at Newark's Branch Brook Park called Cherry Blossoms in Winter, which was featured in a short film by DreamPlay Media.

A graduate of Pratt Institute in New York as a sculpture major, he lives in Madison, NJ.

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