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Local artists sought to beautify bicycle equipment around region

'We're trying to get the artist involved with the community, and the community involved with the arts,' said ODAC board member of Sprockets and Brushes program
ODAC board member Mike Bailey is looking for artists to beautify planned bicycle stations at 17 locations across Simcoe County for the Sprockets and Brushes program being carried out by ODAC and County of Simcoe Tourism.

The Orillia & District Arts Council (ODAC) is looking for artists to beautify bicycle racks, benches, and repair stations throughout Simcoe County.

ODAC has partnered with County of Simcoe Tourism for the Sprockets and Brushes program, which will pay artists $500 plus mileage (up to 50 km) per installation of bike rack, bench, and repair station.

With installations planned for 17 locations across the county, artists may elect to do more than one installation each.

The program is open only to ODAC members, but interested artists may join the not-for-profit for a $40 annual fee. Prospective artists are requested to submit a concept of their proposed art.

“What we're trying to do is promote arts and culture, and we want to be able to try to pay artists for being involved in the programs,” ODAC board member Mike Bailey said.

“In each location, (the county is) putting bike stands, they're putting a bench, and they're putting a repair station … every artist can have one or more if they want to, but can go and use their own designs,” he said. 

“We're looking at all of Simcoe County, so you've got Orillia, Collingwood, Tay, so there's all kinds of different sceneries that somebody might want to paint these things to represent that community.”

Bailey said each site will credit its artist with a plaque.

“There will be a little plaque put on the equipment with their name, and if they … want to give (their art) a name, that name will be on it,” he said. “They'll have their picture taken with a representative from Simcoe County … so they're getting the credit for the artwork that they do to express themselves, and they're getting paid to do it.”

Bailey said that ODAC is working to create more opportunities for local artists. The group has been involved with local projects like Streets Alive, and has plans to further help local artists learn, develop, and display their artwork.

“We're trying to get the artist involved with the community, and the community involved with the arts,” he said. “What we're trying to do is take care of all of the art genres, trying to meet their needs, trying to grow arts and culture in Orillia, and trying to get members.”

ODAC is hoping to see the projects completed by Sept. 1. Those interested in taking on an installation may contact Bailey at [email protected].

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Greg McGrath-Goudie

About the Author: Greg McGrath-Goudie

Greg has been with Village Media since 2021, where he has worked as an LJI reporter for CollingwoodToday, and now as a city hall/general assignment reporter for OrilliaMatters
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