FotoFest 2012
Work For It

Sweating for your art: FotoFest bike tour provides a whole new, free perspective on the stunning photos

Sweating for your art: FotoFest bike tour provides a whole new, free perspective on the stunning photos

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Our Bike Scramble group grew along the way, as cyclists joined in.  Photo by Whitney Radley
FotoFest_Bike Scramble_Station Museum
Works by Alexander Zemlianichenko Jr. at the Station Museum of Contemporary Art. Photo by Vinod Hopson
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Photographs by Andy Freeberg in the lobby of the Bank of America Center.  Photo by Whitney Radley
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FotoFest_Bike Scramble_Station Museum
FotoFest_Bike Scramble_participating exhibitions

FotoFest is racing toward end of its massive 2012 Biennial. Feel like you haven't taken advantage of the countless events and photography exhibits?

We have a solution: The FotoFest Bike Scramble.

Beyond offering a behind-the-scenes tours of participating spaces by FotoFest exhibitions coordinator Jennifer Ward, guests receive a fast-track admission into participating galleries and a street-level experience of the city. And it's completely free.

 Non-cycling participants are welcome to caravan, but the sights, sounds and smells from the bike lane are arguably crucial to the experience .  

The requirements are few (a bicycle, a helmet and a little bit of stamina), and FotoFest press and website coordinator Vinod Hopson follows in a support vehicle for any stragglers. Non-cycling participants are welcome to caravan, but the sights, sounds and smells from the bike lane are arguably crucial to the experience. 

And we know: Last Saturday, CultureMap went along for the ride on the first segment of the day's tours. The Downtown Route started just after 9 a.m. at FotoFest's Vine Street Headquarters Gallery, with complimentary coffee and breakfast and a brief tour of the The Young Generation exhibit. 

Guided by Matt Adams, the route took us next to the nearby photography studio of Frank White, whose series entitled From Russia With Love depicts photographs of Russian children who have been adopted by American parents.

Stop three took our cycling cavalcade to the Allen Center for the sprawling Discoveries of the Meeting Place, where three Texas photographers can be counted among the 10 most interesting finds from the 2010 FotoFest Biennial. Included in the exhibition are Houston's Pablo Giménez Zapiola, Dallas-based Nancy Newberry and Austinite Bill McCullough.

After viewing Pixels + Silver, a collection of works by 15 Houston photographers in the lobby of Total Plaza, we made the long bike ride down to the Station Museum of Contemporary Art to see Artifactual Realities.

That exhibition proved worthwhile. It includes the works of 11 artists, but most immediately apparent are the protest photographs of Russian artist Alexander Zemlianichenko Jr. and local artist Ernesto Leon, who has documented the Occupy Houston movement. 

Heading back north to end the route and the three-hour tour, the last stop offered a glimpse of Andy Freeberg's photographic series, Guardians, set inside a gallery of architect Philip Johnson's postmodern Bank of America Center. 

From there, most of the group continued on for the next two routes, which led through the Museum District and Montrose, stopping along the way for a food truck picnic lunch at the newly-opened Asia Society Texas Center and briefly joining in on the Menil Community Festival. 

A second Bike Scramble will be held this Saturday, replacing the Museum District tour with a jaunt along the Washington Corridor and through the Heights. Spots are limited — RSVP online or by calling (713) 223-5522.

If you prefer transportation on more than two wheels, the Exhibition Expedition scheduled for Thursday includes bus transportation, guided gallery tours, dinner and cocktails.