During tonight’s Bay View Gallery Night festivities, hundreds of Milwaukee area artists and musicians will showcase their work at 47 bars, restaurants, cafes, parks, and retail shops spread throughout the event’s eponymous neighborhood. The artsy ordeal is has been a summer staple in the southeastern Milwaukee neighborhood for years, but one of the most exciting components of this year’s BVGN, “Rollout,” will enter just its second year.
Last summer, Bill Rouleau (Rush-Mor Records), Amber Vavrusa (South Shore Cyclery), and Chris Zito (Church of 2 Wheels) came together to collaborate on a unique idea for a bicycle scavenger hunt where participants partake in a wide range of art-based activities at 13 stops spread throughout Bay View.
The inaugural installment found close to 100 cyclists cruising on and around Kinnickinnic Avenue and partaking in interactive tasks like a collaborative drawing, a ballet performance choreographed by moves affixed to Blackbird Bar’s prize wheel, trivia about the life of Milwaukee artist and Drug Dragons member Luke Chappelle (unbeknownst to him), and more. After the event, there was a gathering at Rush-Mor with food and a raffle.
“People meet people they wouldn’t have otherwise met,” Vavrusa says. “All different types of people came through. It’s just people who love bikes all wanting to come together and really explore Bay View.”
This year’s Rollout will feature an entirely new set of tasks, which riders can compete in any order and at any pace they wish, which will help limit congestion on roads and in businesses. The tasks are kept secret until manifestos—or as Rouleau calls them, “Passports”—are distributed to riders at 6:30 p.m. The three hours thereafter will find riders contributing to an artistic call to action that will feature clues hidden in potted plants, a large-scale construction of live sculpture made of old bicycle parts called “Stick It Where It Feels Good,” and much more. Again, secrecy is key with organizers. At 9:30 p.m., riders will reconvene at Rush-Mor for an after party and raffle. The more tasks riders complete, the more tickets they receive. To keep up with this exciting and unique BVGN-affiliated event, follow the #Rollout15 hashtag on Instagram and Twitter.