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  • Writer's pictureKaren Ollis, SilverFox


Updated: Feb 6, 2019

Cue Steppenwolf ,“Born to be Wild” and it congers a modern day renegade or outlaw riding off into freedom. However, motorcycle enthusiasts are across the board from all walks of life riding a variety of brands. The commonality is in feeling the wind on ones face and the wanderlust of an open road. A collective not unlike boaters or car buffs where adventure, engines and forward movement are central.

The involvement for many motorcycle riders goes beyond just purchasing a motorcycle. Purists are into restoring the vintage models, and the creative into the building of their vision. In each, a focal point for pride and joy.

Recently I went to Fuel an event put on by Skidmark Garage in Cleveland where quite an assortment of motorcycles were being displayed. Domestic and non-domestic models including vintage brands Triumph, Indian, to decades old Harleys, one pulled right out of a barn cobwebs and all. An annual event drawing just as wide a variety of attendees from across the country, the crowd stretching through the spaces of the Ingenuity Building out into surrounding parking areas.

Within Skidmark Garage were numerous bikes being built with amazing intricacies of workmanship. Some owners on hand describing their process as sculptors discussing artistic expression in the medium of motorcycles. One gentlemen explaining to me the machining technique he is working with for detail elements. Another shared, “I hand stitched the leather design on the seat and did all the chrome work myself”.

Having a craft, to create something with one’s own hands is a passion that seems to make life richer, more authentic. It can provide a balancing point to the work week, a feeling of ownership to one’s time and an accomplishment to have created something of tangible value. Certainly a freedom in and of itself for imaginative vision. And when sharing with a group of fellow enthusiasts, the likemindedness injects more energy.

Art is not just something that hangs on a wall in a museum, it comes in different forms and can have applied function. The Art happens when expression is fused with passionate action to become a creation. Bonus, when you can make a living at your passion!

about the author: Karen Ollis is an experienced photographer specializing in studio portraiture, and environmental on-location portraits for editorial stories, PR and marketing testimonials. instagram @ollisphoto

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