Santa Monica Sunday: Bike, Enjoy Culture, Bike Some More

Hundreds will spin spokes at the Santa Monica Museum's Tour da Art.

Art museums are often painted, in very broad strokes, as staid and stationary places.

The only movement to be found within a museum, some believe, is the occasional stretchy mouthed yawn. Guards advise us not to run or move too quickly near sculpture and docents will suggest we sit a spell on a bench, the better to contemplate an abstract painting.

But Santa Monica Museum of Art isn't the staidest of of spots. The institution regularly invites visiting artists to unleash their brush, and creativity, on canvases outside the front door. And Incognito, that springtime art dash, is all about art lovers -- actually running -- to the paintings they want to purchase before others can lay claim.

And the museum's big summertime to-do? It's all about movement, too. It's Tour da Arts, and it celebrates its fifth outing -- or, er, volume, in SMMOA speak -- on Sunday, Aug. 18.

It's a spin filled with "music, dance, and art." Think of it as a sunny day bike ride with the fam but with brain-expanding stops aplenty. Each stop has a cultural aspect to it. A contemporary tap show will clack-clack-clack -- that's the wonderful metallic sound a tap shoe makes, of course -- at the Santa Monica Bay's Women's Club while Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre will perform at the next stop, the Grant Elementary School Playground.

And before the ride begins? Activities aplenty at the Santa Monica Museum's Bergamot Station headquarters. Bike tune-ups, the browsing of arty bike accessories, and a peek at the museum's current exhibits.

Price? Free free free. We like it so much we typed it three times. Still though, you'll need to RSVP. Should we type that three times, too? Perhaps. RSVP, RSVP, RSVP (please).

Our only suggestion? To take pause after a day of pedaling and stopping for culture (then pedaling again). Consider how our art institutions are not the staid, static spots some would paint them to be. Movement reigns at SMMoA, both inside and out.

Nope, it isn't like a gym, but maybe a gym of the mind.

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