Fort Morgan, CO. 08/25/14. “My backyard looks like a ‘chop shop,’ laughs local artist Ann Iungerich. And for good reason; Iungerich has taken on the task to coordinate Fort Morgan’s “Community Canvas” art projects for this year’s Pedal the Plains event. Her legion of volunteers is working towards building a bicycle and wind power driven art installation.
“There have been nearly 80 bikes donated to date,” notes Iungerich, adding that close to 70 hours have been logged already by community volunteers for the project.
Volunteers include Tony and Terry Berhends, Tom Saloga (Midwest Millwright), David Chapman (Portable Welding), six members of Iungerich’s Studio 102 group, Cora Rhode (Totally Picture Perfect), Kathy Brasby, Lisa Northrup, and Dave, Matt and Max Iungerich (Son-Haul, Inc.). Additional help will be coming from the Fort Morgan High School (FMHS) Future Farmers of America (FFA) club now that school is back in session.
The theme for the project naturally came from the cycling event itself, but went to another level when a location was chosen. “Nick Ng and I were touring Fort Morgan, and the metal structure at the site of old Power Plant was one of several possible locations for the artwork. Our minds sparked at the same time and the concept of ‘power’ was added to the theme,” said Iungerich.
Though it is no longer a source of electrical power for the community, incorporating new energy such as wind power (a growing trend for eastern Colorado) into the structure at the old plant solidifies the concept. “It is such an eclectic theme, that when brought together, it becomes cohesive,” reasons Iungerich. “The FFA students are very excited about the kinetic aspect of the project, exploring ways to exploit wind power using bike parts.”
The installation, aptly titled “Pedal Power,” is part of the larger event, the third annual Pedal the Plains, which will stop in Fort Morgan on Friday, September 19. More than just a biking event—Pedal the Plains is designed to increase awareness of the Plains and highlight locally sourced foods, points of interest, and the arts and culture of the region. “Community Canvas” is a special component of the event supported by Colorado Creative Industries (CCI), a Division of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development & Trade.
CCI supports the art and culture aspect of the bike tour by working with communities to develop a “Community Canvas” art project. The organization offers a $1,000 matching grant—which can be met financially or in kind—and leaves the development of the project in the hands of the community to create. Nick Ng, FMHS art teacher and chairman on the City’s Planning Commission, is also a consultant for CCI. Working with Iungerich, Ng put together the art project proposal for CCI. Jointly, Morgan Community College's Center for Arts and Community Enrichment and the City of Fort Morgan are collectively working in support of Iungerich and her volunteers.
Fort Morgan is one of three planned “Community Canvas” art projects for the Pedal the Plains event; Wiggins and Sterling are also developing plans for community art.
It is anticipated that the Fort Morgan “Pedal Power” installation will be unveiled at Saturday’s start of the Pedal the Plains event on Highway 52 at the old Power Plant (now the City’s Parks Department at 1600 N. Main Street) on September 20.
For more information about and updates on the “Community Canvas” art project, check out the “Pedal Power” page on Facebook. To register to participate in the Pedal the Plains event or for event details, go to http://www.pedaltheplains.com.