Sunday was closing day for the popular Cyclepedia show at Portland Art Museum.
This is the one that started with naked cyclists parading through the august downtown art institution on the night of the recent World Naked Bike Ride.
As it turns out, the exhibit also ended as a bit of a freak show.
Meaning, it was totally packed in there on Sunday.
And folks were downright rowdy.
Because they were deeply attached to what they were seeing.
Whether or not it’s art (of course, it’s every day art – that’s all around us in Ptown), there is no denying that this subject engaged the audience and BROUGHT THEM IN.
People love bikes.
In Portland, bikes are just barely below animals when it comes to the cuteness factor.
Though they are not mankind’s greatest invention, bikes are very high on the list.
And the fact that they may be inextricably linked to changing (and saving) life as we know it in major cities around the world just makes them all the cooler. Or is that more cool? Both.
People were posing outside the museum with their bikes in front of the show poster for a photo opp.
That is some serious engagement.
In any venue, you know your audience is engaged when they:
* make noise
* move around
* touch stuff
Exhibits like this one that encourage people to do all of the above are particularly successful.
By comparison, the mood in the bike room was much more interesting than what prevailed downstairs in the Robert Adams exhibit, The Question of Hope, which, with its mostly people-free landscapes of Oregon, felt about 30 years behind the time.
Is it art?
How about: Is it fun?