Upcycle Helmet Art Show Getting Revived After Five Years

WOODBRIDGE, CT – It’s about time. After a five-year hiatus initially caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Upcycle Helmet Art Show is being revived by Jim LoPresti. It will be staged from noon to 5 p.m. on Sept. 8 at LoPresti’s Lucky Soul Tattoo shop on Route 63 (214 Amity Road) in Woodbridge, CT.

“It’s been five years. Obviously, the pause was the pandemic. After the pandemic, I had open heart surgery, so that set me back a little bit,” Lopresti said today. “It was a bit of a rough recovery for me.”

Jim LoPresti at 2019 show

The colorful event shows off motorcycle helmets that have been turned into pieces of art using paint and other media. It began in 2017 and was staged three times before being interrupted. LoPresti said there will be returning artists this year as well as newcomers. “We definitely want to introduce some new artists to the show,” he said.

The artists pay a $25 entry fee to participate, primarily to cover the cost of the helmets they each receive. LoPresti accepts donations of helmets as well buys them on eBay and Facebook Marketplace.

While the show is supposedly limited to 30 artists, it is flexible. “It’s hard to say no,” LoPresti said, although he explained, “Space-wise is one reason to limit them.”

(Photos from 2019 UpCycle Helmet Art Show)

The 2019 show raised about $800 for the Brain Injury Alliance of Connecticut. Proceeds from the 2024 show will go to the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride, which supports suicide prevention and battles prostates cancer.

In addition to the display helmets, the show features a band and a food truck.

Were it not for artist interest in the show’s concept, and requests for its return, the show might not have been revived. “I think that gave me a little kick in my butt,”LoPresti said.

RIDE-CT’s story on the 2019 show may be found here. More into on this year’s show may be found LoPresti’s Facebook page.

About Bud Wilkinson

Bud Wilkinson writes the "RIDE-CT" motorcycle column and the "My Ride" classic car feature in the "Republican-American" newspaper in Waterbury, CT. A graduate of Vermont Academy, he received a B.A. degree journalism from Ohio Wesleyan University in 1975. He is the recipient of a Scripps Howard Foundation National Journalism Award in 1992 and a 1991-92 regional Emmy Award for commentary. He currently rides a 1987 BMW R 80 RT and a 2014 Triumph Bonneville and drives a 2010 Mazda MX-5 Miata.

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