Bikes: Motorcycles as Personal Expression

Below are a few pictures that I took at the Sioux City Art Center on March 4.

The official description of the exhibit follows. For more information on the Sioux City Art Center, please visit their webpage at

12/3/2005 - 3/5/2006

Almost since its invention in the late nineteenth century, the motorcycle has symbolized rebellion, escapism, autonomy, sex, danger, speed, nonconformity, fetish, innovation, creativity, and self-expression. Indeed, the two-wheeled machine has grown to embody the complexity and desires of its riders.

The Sioux City Art Center’s blockbuster exhibition BIKES: Motorcycles as Personal Expression  traces the development and evolution of the customized motorcycle. On view December 3, 2005 through March 5, 2006, this survey exhibition showcases both stock and modified motorcycles, chronicling the origins of customized bikes from the 1940s “Bob-Job,” to the chopper craze of the 1960s and 1970s, and to the present explosion of high-end, sophisticated sculptures of chrome and torque.

Including more than 60 stunning motorcycles, the exhibition also features original artwork by Dave Mann, whose stylized images of motorcycles and biker culture gained national acclaim through the pages of Easyriders magazine. In addition, air-brushed paintings by Sioux City’s Mark Camerer and Brian Poulsen, along with looping screenings of The Wild One (1954) and Easy Rider (1969), will help transform the gallery atmosphere into a rolling thunder haven.

All of the exhibited motorcycles are on loan from generous builders, collectors, and riders from Sioux City and the tri-state region. As a result, the exhibition not only illustrates the local popularity and enthusiasm for bikes and biker culture, it also reveals the innovative styles and creative talents unique to Sioux City, and the resulting impact this part of the country has had on the customized motorcycle phenomenon.


In conjunction with this exhibition, the Sioux City Art Center will offer a rare showing of the 75th Anniversary Miller Custom Chopper built by the acclaimed father-and-son duo at Orange County Choppers.

This radical motorcycle pays homage to the American Welder, and will be on view for ONLY THREE DAYS (December 6–8). The OCC Miller bike features a Miller Big Window Elite helmet morphing out of the gas tank, a Diamondback TIG torch mounted on the frame, and a tow-behind XMT 304 multipurpose inverter ready to strike an arc.

Come see this spectacular machine, which stretches over 13 feet, along with over 60 other stock and modified bikes crafted by well-known builders such as Arlen Ness, Don Hotop, Klock Werks, The Chrome Horse, Outlaw Customs, Sioux City Powersports, and Woodbury Custom Choppers.

Admission to the exhibition is FREE for Art Center members. Non-member admission charges are as follows: $5 (general); $3 (students with I.D.); FREE (12 and under). Thursday evenings from 6 to 9 p.m. are FREE for all.

Edward Anderson, Tom Anderson, Tom Bride, Zort Brown, Kevin Card, Dick Carlson, Terry Eyman, Lori Farrell, Dave Foreman, Jason Franco, Tom Fugle, Tator Gilmore & The Chrome Horse, Rowan Glaser, Mark Godfredson, Kris Goldammer, Don Hotop and Don’s Speed & Custom Cycle, Mark LaFleur, Ryan Mathison, Travis Mericle, Jeff Miedema, George Milburn, Miller Electric Mfg Co. & Linweld, Bill Mize, National Motorcycle Museum, Tony Nessa, Mick & Mike O’Connor, Dan Paquin, John Paulsen, Dan Raak, Cheryl Reynolds, Rooster’s Harley-Davidson, Clint Sachau, Jerry Schleis, Richard Schultz, John Sedivy, Sioux City Powersports, Inc., Gene Stehly, David Strachan, Blake Wagner, Klock Werks, Les Wiese, and Woodbury Custom Choppers.

During the exhibition, the Art Center will sell raffle tickets for its radical 2005 Pro-Street Custom motorcycle built by Woodbury Custom Choppers (with wheels by Sioux City Powersports). Tickets are $25 each or 5 for $100. Winner announced Thursday, March 2.


Last update: 11/08/2006 11:04