Enter Ryan Runcie, the artist behind some of the community’s most colorful murals. Six Square suggested we reach out to Runcie to work with him on a project we’ve been dreaming about at woom for several months now. Kids bike frames were a new canvas for the artist, and both woom and Runcie were excited about the opportunity to make this dream come to life. Usually, Runcie tells his stories of social and racial reconciliation on sweeping concrete surfaces. Still, he was more than up for the task of utilizing his talents to turn an ordinary kid’s bike into a work of art.
Creating art that resonates with small kids was the inspiration behind the art bikes for the local artist. “Even though adults often come with ideas, you want to make sure the kids are connected because they have to live with it,” Runcie of the interactive murals he’s painted on local schools. “When they have a connection, they come back.”
Taking into account the limited surface, Runcie had to get creative. “With such little surface area, I still wanted to give that meaning,” he says. “I thought of the bike as a background to the kids riding it. I wanted to lift them up and inspire them and their friends.” Runcie did that with bright primary colors splattered in chameleon paint that changes color as the bike moves.
“The splatter idea is meant to represent acceptance — that all these colors can come together to mean something more,” he explains. “The chameleon paint represents constant growth and change. On your bike, you are always shifting — and you are too.”
The bike art project couldn’t be more representative of a dynamic time, a nuanced world, that is never, really, black and white. Like the intent behind much of his work, Runcie uses unexpected colors to “push the color of skin away, so you are forced to deal with the beauty of the form,” he explains.