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Road trip of a different sort–Lee Tusman’s bike ride


This just in from Lee Tusman, former Philadelphia artist now living in Riverside CA where, I believe, he’s running a community arts organization and having what seems to be some serious fun.

Tusman sends out occasional email newsletters about what he’s up to. This morning I got one about a cross country bike trip he’s on with its ups and downs (bike break-downs, unexpected camp-outs, passing through super-small towns, emergency room visit for stitches to a scraped hand, etc). Things that struck me about Tusman back when I met him in 2005 and wrote about him were his energy, earnestness and openness to new things. Well, two years later the self-taught artist whose work is quilts, clothing and toys made from found t-shirts is apparently charging along with the same energy and enthusiasm.

Quilt by Lee Tusman in Homegrown, at David Krut Gallery, to July 28
Quilt by Lee Tusman in Homegrown, at David Krut Gallery, to July 28

Right now, he’s on a cross-country bike tour with two friends, and he’s also in a great-sounding show in New York, Homegrown, at David Krut Projects. The show’s curated by Renee Riccardo. Here’s the lineup for the show and below is Tusman’s synopsis of his bike trip so far:

Scott Andresen, Karen Azoulay, Bethany Bristow, Orly Cogan, Robin Dash, Misaki Kawai, Kuhl & Leyton, Greg Lamarche, Cristina Lei Rodriguez, Margaret Lee, LoVid, Adia Millett, Doug Morris, Anne-Francoise Potterat, Jon Rosenbaum, Erika Somogyi, Lee Tusman, and Jasmine Zimmerman.

Report from Lee Tusman on his Cross Country Bike Trip:

I am biking cross country. right now. while you read this. you can hear daily VOICE BLOGGING! from my cell phone on my website.

1. I slashed open my hand in Portland and went to emergency room. 3 stitches. it’s healing. i am typing 1 handed. i can still bike but was difficult for a few days.

2. i am biking with mary anne and kathleen. they got $484 in tickets!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! from an asshole cop for going through a stop sign.

3. we have biked up and down immeasurable mountains. gone along the lewis and clark route and the oregon trail. in reverse. through ugly rain.

4. northwestern oregon is lush. biked along the old scenic columbia river gorge, one of the most beautiful places i ever seeen. the middle of oregon is mostly long empty desert. like southern california. have you ever driven in the middle of nowhere? we are biking there. we had to bike along a freeway for a good 10 or 20 miles too.

5. mos nights we stay in towns of about 500 people. with a general store. and maybe a small restaurant or hardware shop. maybe a library or a theater or gas station or nuthin’. the towns are gorgeous picturesque. unchanged for a hundred years. we even stayed next to (and used) an old haunted boarding house. becoming ghost towns. good people. funny people. old people. it’s nice to be in places where there are no chain restaurants. they’re ain’t much of nuthin.

6. broke down going up a mountain in the desert on a hot day. hitchiked to Condon, Oregon. camped overnight. caught a ride down to bend, oregon. got fixed. found a place to crash tonight. ate pizza. gonna sleep. haul ass throgh desert for next week to boise. flying to east coast june 17th if i can make it to boise. my birthday’s in a day.

can’t type more. can’t respond to individual messages for another week. last library for 1 week i believe. might not have phone access.

LISTEN TO OUR VOICE BLOG. It is at VOODOOARTIST.COM which is my website. hit the PLAY button and go back to hear previous broadcasts.


I did a studio visit with Tusman in 2005 when he was a 40th Street Artist in Residence artist and was working on a Lunch-With-Lee project involving the lunch trucks around the University of Pennsylvania in West Philadelphia. We had lunch at a taco truck and had a great chat which you can read in the post.