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    Expect A Bike

    Expect A Bike

    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.

    Frances Marion Platt talks about the mural for 12 Months of Giving

    Frances Marion Platt talks about the mural for 12 Months of Giving

    Frances Marion Platt recently wrote the following article in HV1 showcasing the mural Cronin did to raise funds and awareness for 12 Months of Giving.

    With his cartoonish, deceptively crude Outsider/Pop aesthetic and ubiquitous presence on our streets and in our shops and restaurants, Ryan Cronin might fairly be called New Paltz’s answer to the late great Keith Haring. If our town had subway stations for him to work in, his stuff would be there, for sure.

    Equal parts appealing and baffling, his brightly colored, instantly recognizable Rust-Oleum paintings must be selling well, because the artist has added a philanthropic arm to his Water Street Market headquarters, Cronin Contemporary. The new initiative is called 12 Months of Giving, and the gallery has announced its intent to designate two local not-for-profits each year to be recipients of the artist’s charitable giving. In this inaugural year, the lucky designees are Go Doc Go, a Hudson Valley-based women’s health care initiative that establishes and maintains cervical cancer screening programs around the globe, so far including Ethiopia, Senegal and Haiti; and the TMI Project, which offers transformative memoir workshops and interactive performances that use storytelling as an agent of personal and social change.

    To launch the campaign with appropriate hoopla, Cronin chose May 17 — the date of the Hudson Valley Gives 24-hour online fundraising marathon — to livestream the actual painting of his latest plein air opus: a vibrant mural of geese in flight, rendered on the west-facing exterior wall of Schatzi’s Pub at 36 Main Street in New Paltz. The event is over now, but the original Ryan Cronin artwork will remain up there for all to see, so long as the elements permit. Check it out next time you’re downtown. To find out more, or to add your donation to Go Doc Go or the TMI Project, visit www.cronincontemporary.com, www.godocgo.org or www.tmiproject.org.

    Speak Up, Speak Out

    Speak Up, Speak Out

    Speak Up, Speak Out, was an exhibition of Ryan Cronin’s work in response to the current state of affairs in the United States. The gallery featured a series of recent paintings, including Speak UP and Obama which act as reflections on the many transitions happening in America. In these tumultuous times we welcomed visitors to express their concerns and open a dialogue within our own community. The gallery hosted a letter writing campaign to encourage citizens to speak out and to provide a space for individuals to write to their elected officials. Together, we mailed over 200 postcards written by people as young as 5 to folks in their late 70s. We looked to bring people of all ages and beliefs together to share ideas and engage in the democratic process.