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West Plains Council on the Arts invites everyone to view a distinctive collection of artwork by local photographer Dennis Crider in his exhibition titled “Yikes, Bikes”, photos of bicycles and bicycle parts at the Gallery at the Center, West Plains Civic Center from August 3 thru September 13, 2015. The Gallery, on the mezzanine, is open to the public during regular Civic Center hours.
One of Dennis Crider’s earliest memories was a bicycle wreck he had when he was about four years old. This occurred on a quiet street in his hometown of Wichita, Kansas. As he recalls, he was a couple of blocks from his house, wearing no helmet, when the wheels failed to get over an uneven portion of the street near the curb. Over he went and cracked his head on the concrete. Crider says, “It was the first time I actually saw stars just like cartoonists depict in the comic strips.”

About nine years after the skull-crushing incident, he was riding to Hamilton Junior High in Wichita alongside a childhood friend when his second accident occurred. He was chatting with his buddy while looking to the left when he crashed into a parked car. Over the top of the bicycle he went onto the car’s trunk. That one hurt too.

A few years later his daredevil instincts took over when he attempted to ride over a couple of large boulders and take a leap into a sinkhole. Needless to say, the bicycle did not make a safe landing, but Dennis managed to shake it off without much injury.

Bicycles have always been an interest to Dennis, but not as serious as his love for photography, which brings us up to date.

“Yikes, Bikes” shows various types of bicycles, from antiques to modern models, and the photographic techniques that were used show an evolution from antique to modern day styles. This collection includes bicycles in and around West Plains, as well as Cabool, Nixa, Springfield, and in the states of Arkansas, New Mexico, Kansas, Colorado and Illinois.

Crider’s final note, “Words of advice to all you bicycle riders out there. Always wear a helmet, always look where you are going, and never try to leap over boulders. I hope you enjoy the exhibit.
WPCA will host a Meet-the-Artists Reception on Saturday, August 15, from 12-2 p.m., in the Gallery at the Center. All are invited to attend, view and discuss these wonderful pieces
The exhibit is co-sponsored by the West Plains Civic Center and West Plains Council on the Arts, with partial funding provided by Missouri Arts Council, a state agency.
Dennis Crider’s Facebook page has many more examples of his work and plans for other exhibits