You may have noticed ‘Expect A Bike Ahead’ lawn signs have been popping up all over New Paltz and the surrounding area. In fact, there are more than 100 of these signs but not because CronartUSA put them out there.
It all started with Art.
In September of 2016, Gaby O’Shea was struck by a vehicle and suffered life-threatening injuries. The New Paltz community quickly gathered around Gaby and her family and organized a fundraiser to aid in her recovery and to spark dialogue between motorist and cyclist regarding bike safety. Ryan Cronin offered to create a piece of art and sell it with a portion of the sale going directly to Gaby and her family. ‘Expect A Bike Ahead’ was born and was sold before the paint was dry to one of Cronin’s collectors.
Art for the world we live in.
Fast forward several months and Cronin was approached by the Bike Ped Committee and Gaby’s father, Stephen O’Shea asking to use the image for a project they had in mind.
Ryan Cronin agreed. He’s is a firm believer that art should be in and of the world we live in. It should be a part of our everyday experience, offering us new ways to view the world, and ultimately inspiring dialogue. Turning his piece ‘Expect A Bike’ into a real sign, felt like a really good opportunity to demonstrate this.
The conversation is growing.
Two years after creating the artwork, it has been turned in to lawn signs that people are seeing all around town, thanks to the support of O’Connor & Partners, PLLC. There are conversations all over social media and in the community; “What is this sign?”, “Where did it come from?”, “Where can I get one for my lawn/driveway?”. Some are appalled by it, others embrace it. Cronin is less concerned about people’s responses and is focused on how the image has created a whirlwind of good, bad, and ugly dialogue. In his mind, the piece has accomplished exactly what he intended it to do; get people to pay attention and talk.
The power of the ‘Expect A Bike’ painting lies in the act of collaboration with the community and the social by-product more than in the physical work itself— in essence, the social interaction is the art and the impact of the project goes beyond the original piece. We didn’t set out to create a sign but all of Ryan’s work is intended to strike a dialogue and conversation. We are very happy with the power of this piece to do just that.