Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Creativity of Randy Smith and the Grand Haven ArtWalk Community Moves Some Metal and Changes Lives.

Maybe Joe Betten, business man and sponsor of Grand Haven ArtWalk, hinted to Randy Smith that it was high time to move some metal. Randy Smith understands business, the long time creative force behind Michigan Rag Co./ Marushka Handprints company, and his team of creatives conceived the idea of a bicycle parade with repurposed bicycles, open for participation for all ages and to everyone who can ride a bicycle. Thanks to a video produced by that one woman public relations wonder, Dawn Veltman, the world knows what a success resulted Saturday from the bike parade idea. Sixty-five bikes participated and all categories were well represented, including the high school bracket as well as the business bracket.

Smith had an early hint that his plan set in motion a groundswell of creativity when a friend  rung him up with the message, "Hey, Randy. There's a groovy bus proceeding up the road from a workshop two miles south of Grand Haven. Oh yeah, there's a man pedaling furiously on a bicycle inside its interior." Speaking about groundswell, wait until news of this years success spreads out into the Burning Man and Maker's Faire communities world wide. Veltman's video is destined to go viral as soon as she picks a musician to set it to music and she uploads it to You Tube.  (Veltman, if this happens soon, we'll get more visitors to book ArtWalk rooms at those hotels who rely upon you for public relations services! Just saying.)

Smith was impressed that one entry came from as far away as Rockford and he might know that Kathleen Harrigan sailed her pirate ship bike all the way from her farm in Ada, where she produces her autumn tweakfest, The Apple Smash. Piloted by her husband and a true brick of a man, Paul Harrigan, he donated the masterpiece to the #GHArtWalk2013 community to be an inspiration to bike fest inventors still to come. And they will come from the ranks of our youth, many now in elementary school. Many young children produced designs this year, and we look forward to seeing years of design iterations.

Over at the Careerline Tech Center, Sally Salkowski led a dream team of her graphic arts, electronics and design students to produce more than a dozen exciting designs, one that even swept the streets. Has anyone alerted the public works department on Mackinac Island. Every one knows that colleges such as University of Michigan and Michigan State place their students into collaborative teams for challenges like the Solar Car Challenge, and Salkowski's students are ready. They'll design the cars of tomorrow that Joe Betten and his Preferred Automotive Collection will sell to the public wanting sustainable cars. This is only one way that Smith's idea for ArtWalk will move the metal.

Betten Automotive has made arrangements with Magic Bus designer, Daniel Muellerleile, to place the Magic Bus on the vintage automotive lot on US-31, where the colorful exterior will certainly draw the attention of car shoppers, encouraging them to shop Betten first. More, Joe Betten added a custom ArtWalk beach cruiser to his art collection, customized with pin striping from the talented staff at local graphics house, Olmstead Graphics. In Grand Haven, every one rides in style.

Grand Haven Art Walk is a year round community that welcomes all creatives, and believes that every one is creative. This community is kept together by monthly art openings at the Fire Barn Gallery, so connect today! One benefit is rubbing shoulders with great thinkers like Randy Smith, who built a prototype bicycle that looked like a steampunk turbine capable of generating its own steam and electricity. His prototype stopped the show during the Second Avenue Arts auction earlier this September when Smith cycled up to the door. How do you know Smith is about to hatch a big idea. Simple. He'll walk up to you with a subtle smile on his face and say, "Come over here. I have something to show you". Be sure to follow up on the invitation.

Thinking pinstripes to bill boards to large pictures of ancient beavers? Think Olmstead Graphics.

The Inventor of the Growler Bike took a few minutes from ArtPrize to ride his bike in our parade, a prototype of which now has pride of display in the window of the Tri-Cities Historical Museum

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