TROY — Residents will remember 2017 as the “Year of the Bicycle” in Troy as officials gathered on Prouty Plaza to formerly open “Las Bicicletas — Urban Art from Mexico to the World” on Thursday morning.
The art exhibit features a variety of sheet metal sculptures located in downtown Troy, Treasure Island and Paul G. Duke Park through July 31.
Troy Area Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting ceremony to formally welcome representatives who traveled with the art exhibit to Troy.
Council member Brock Heath greeted the guests, including the artist’s son, Juan, in Spanish.
“We are very excited for all of you to be here,” Heath shared, before greeting the artist’s representatives in Spanish.
“Thank you very much everyone and thanks for coming. These bicycles are for you and the sculptures are for you and for sharing. They are for livening up everywhere around them,” said Juan, the sculptor Gilberto Aceves Navarro’s son.
Juan said he shared a video from his father at the chamber’s gala Wednesday and repeated his father’s sentiments about the exhibit.
“He says these sculptures brings him a lot of joy and I hope that is the case for this wonderful city. Thank you very much for hosting us,” Juan shared.
From May through July 30, the colorful steel sculptures will grace Duke Park, Treasure Island, the bike path along the Great Miami River, and the sidewalks of downtown Troy. The exhibit has visited, and was well received, in Chicago, New York City, Williamsburg, Va., and Washington, D.C., as well as major cities throughout Mexico.
Aceves Navarro, who is in his 80s, has said in previous interviews that the bicycles are “vehicles of happiness and health.”
Mayor Michael Beamish thanked the artists for coming to Troy and thanked committee members for bringing another unique sculpture exhibit to Troy.
“It’s a great international exhibit that we continue to bring with our Sculptures on the Square Committee and all their efforts,” Beamish said. “We look at what would be a good fit for our community. We are a bike friendly community and this is a perfect fit to kick off the spring and summer season.”
Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission CEO Brian Martin joined the celebration, reminding the crowd that May is National Bicycle Month and said the exhibit fit perfect with next month’s theme.
“I’m sure you’ll have many visitors here in Troy and we’ll be helping spread the word,” Martin said.
Troy City Council recently passed its “Complete Streets” program, which will seek to make alternative transportation like cycling more user friendly in the city limits.
Troy will also host the “Tour de Donut” cycling tour with a sweet twist as cyclists travel to stations and enjoy doughnuts along the trail. The event will take place in September.
Sculptures on the Square is a biennial public art exhibit in downtown Troy made possible by grants from the Troy Foundation and Robinson Fund, partnership with the city of Troy, and the generosity of individual and corporate donors.
For more information, call Troy Main Street at (937) 339-5455, or visit www.troymainstreet.org.
Follow Melanie Yingst on Twitter @Troydailynews