papergirl posterSina Hickey imagines a group of people riding on bikes through the streets of Albany and passing out original art at random.

It's worked in Berlin and a few other places, and the 24-year-old Guilderland resident's got a feeling the Capital Region could pull it off, too. And she's looking for your help.

Hickey is collecting submissions of original art -- be it photographs, drawings, screen prints, as long as it can be rolled up, it'll work. The pieces will be part of what she's calling Papergirl Albany, a nod to the original Papergirl in Germany. That project started out as a response to a change in Berlin's vandalism laws. It's now in its fourth year.

Here's how it works: Sina says the art will first be displayed at the St. Joseph's Cathedral in Albany's Ten Broeck Square for a public show called "Flux." After that, a group of people will ride bikes throughout the city, passing out the art from the show. She says it will be completely random, and the cyclists will travel as a pack distributing the art to whomever they see. Each piece will also come with information about the artist.

So far she's collected pieces from artists locally, in New York City and even a few other places. Here's a selection.

Similar events are being planned in Portland, Oregon and Northampton, Mass., and while those cities might seem a little more, I don't know - artsy?, she thinks Albany has the potential to make it work.

I have to admit that at first I was a little skeptical, but then I started to think, well, why not? I definitely support any attempt at building community relations and spreading urban beautification, and the idea of bicyclists spreading art through the city is a scene I'd love to witness.

The show isn't until Oct. 9-11. So why am I telling you now? Because the submission deadline has been pushed back to September 28th and Sina's still seeking more work. She's also looking for volunteers willing to pass out art by bike, much like newspaper carriers once spread the news. If you're interested in participating, you can contact her at


Albany is so wierd. Laws of the universe fail to apply here. The weather is always screwed up. People fish in the Hudson. Joe Bruno and Jerry Jennings are so loved/hated people want them bronzed/lynched. There are 94,000 people here and it seems everyone is within two degrees of one another as if we were inbreeding (and people from NYC think we are, BTW).

This city is so small sometimes, you forget that every scene you can think up has a devoted following here, somewhere. I used to read about people hosting fashion shows, running bike races, juggling fire, and go "Whoa... it's happening HERE?" But no, it happens! Lark Taven had a Glenn Miller type Orchastra playing earleir this week. We could have a Second Tuesday Hunting for UFOs on Elephants social club and I wouldn't be phased.

Speaking of, we'll be watching E.T. at my house on the 9th. If you come by please clean up your own dung, my truck is full.

Viva la creative spirit!

This article is awesome! Thank you so much Jessica!
For more information on FLUX, it will be on October 9, 10, 11 at the St. Joseph's Cathedral in Albany's Ten Broeck Square. I hope to see everyone there!

While I love the idea; Albany isn't Berlin when it comes to the city government embracing cycling, i.e. witness the rebuilding of Delaware Avenue NOT containing any bike lanes:

From a 8/22/2007 CBS News report on cycling in Berlin:

"...A friend will warn: “Never, never step in the red area.” And then you have learned the complete basics to Berlin sidewalk navigation: stay on the gray stones and out of the brick-hued bike lane.

In this city where less than half of residents own a car, bicycles are not only in vogue; over the past two decades it has become downright common to ride one every day. They are chained to every pole or knob on every major thoroughfare. They crowd apartment building lobbies. They dominate the flow of traffic in intersections. Bicyclists have power in numbers; a major fantasy of U.S. cyclists has come to pass in Berlin: cars yield to bikes."

The point I'm making is distribution may be a problem.

This is a fun idea, and I'm probably going to go. Butttt: being familiar with Albany demographics, it does beg the very logical question of whether art and its creators must consider an audience, which in this case is some vapid aggregate of downstate college students who might be prone to issuing forth monosyllables during the commercial breaks of cartoons. Although, I'm not going to lie: it would probably occur to me in gut busting hilarity to see a bunch of bicycle-riding art kids pass out pictures to a throng of SUNY Albany revelers in front of Hollywood on a Friday night.

The other day I was walking down Madison Avenue and I was lucky enough to meet the papergirl people and I received wonderful art that is being displayed in my room. The art work is beautiful and I hope I run into them again!

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