Photos by Steve Soraci - There are people that you cross paths with that you know will be folks you can count on. The main reason is they don’t want or need anything from you; they dig everything you put out to the universe. A prime example for me would be Jerry Cerqua at 812inc. Jerry ALWAYS goes above and beyond with every project he touches, and gives back to the community tenfold. Jerry recently produced and hosted the first Motorcycle Art Exhibition during the Cheap Thrills Motorcycle Show in New Jersey. The Motorcycle Art Extravaganza features 30 talented artisans who put their spin on a custom-made 812inc sissy bar. Please take a moment to meet the man behind 812inc and the Motorcycle Art Extravaganza.
Tell our readers a bit of yourself.
Jerry - I’m 52. I live in Long Branch, NJ currently, single, with a dog and a bunch of motorcycles.
When did motorcycles come into your life?
Jerry - I’d have to say motorcycles came into my life when I was a young teenager, first noticing them on the streets and then, when I turned 17, purchasing my first motorcycle as soon as I got my license. But, unfortunately, I grew up in the city with buildings and pavement, not anywhere to ride off-road, so I was never really introduced to riding motorbikes at a young age.
What motorcycles do you currently ride?
Jerry - Currently, I have to say that the two motorcycles I ride the most are my 1972 Harley ironhead long chopper, and my 2017 HD 110 in.³ Softail Slim. I also have a 2005 HD Springer classic, but that gets very little seattime lately…. I also have two bikes under the knife at the moment … A 1976 HD shovelhead and a 1978 HD ironhead that I’m doing almost everything by hand on - from the frame, to the headlights, to the oil bags, etc.
When did you open 812inc?
Jerry - I began 812inc roughly three years ago. I was convinced by my buddy Dusty to start making some sissy bars and selling them at Cheap Thrills Motorcycle Show and Swap, so I’m still really a beginner in this game regardless of my chronological age. I like to say I’m not old; I was just born a long time ago.
What type of services do you provide?
Jerry - I provide everything from custom motorcycle parts … i.e., sissy bars, jockey shifts, brake stays, pegs, headlight mounts, license plate brackets, handlebars, etc., to complete motorcycle builds and modifications. In addition, I offer welding and fabrication services, as well as custom MC jewelry and custom knives and such. I also do custom metal furniture and custom metal art, and of course, custom trophies and awards.
When did you start making event trophies?
Jerry - I began making awards three years ago for a handful of things that I was either involved with, or had friends throwing. My first trophy was for a bike night that I was sponsoring locally in New Jersey, that I made my first trophy for, and once that got noticed, tt just started to take off from there. Here is a list of events I created trophies for over the past three years. Some events I’ve done more than once, you will see that noted. Toms Tavern bike night 1x - Vista skate park coalition 1x - Pat Perrone Poker Run 3x - Strange Days Event 1x - APP Moto Jam & hill climbs 3x - Sketchy Field Day Races 1x - Last Stand Chopper Show 1x – Rock Boy Choppers Events 3x - LOM Gathering Of the Tribes Chopper show 1x - Hog City Chopper Show 1x - Back Road BBQ Run 1x - Central Jersey 4x4 truck show 1x - Whiskey Eye’s Motorcycle Bash 1x - Unicorn Ranch Roundup 1x - Deathtrap Company’s Chopper and Motorcycle shows 2x - Cheap Thrills 1x ……..That’s over 75 trophies for 23 separate events. And I’m also booked for two events in 2022, the Back Road Barbecue Run and the Pat Perrone Poker Run, and I hope to receive more requests in the spring.
I want to thank you for supporting CC and me over the years! But, I have to be honest, and I was VERY stoked when you asked CC to support your jaw-dropping Motorcycle Art Extravaganza exhibit. How did you come up with the idea for this traveling exhibit?
Jerry - Over the years, I’ve seen a lot of art shows based around the motorcycle world. Usually, they pertain to some type of artist that deals with a painting medium in some form or another. Or photography based around motorcycles. Then I was invited to enter a sissy bar art show that was displayed at Cheap Thrills a couple of years ago, which dealt mostly with craftsmen/artists that could fabricate a sissy bar, in other words, that can work with metal. This also limited the artists that were involved. This got my wheels spinning. I was trying to figure out a way to involve all the artists that work in mediums that can and would be used on or around a motorcycle. It finally came to me that if I created a canvas for artists to work on and sent them all the same canvas, multiple artists that work in multiple mediums could be involved. I wanted it to be a piece of art that could be hung on a wall in the home, not just in the man-cave or garage. The sissy bar shape allows me to create a canvas with a metal back on it, making a larger canvas than a regular sissy bar, and one that all artists can work on. I tried to reach out to artists that work in the mediums of hand painting, airbrush, pinstriping, motorcycle photographers, epoxy and resin artists, leatherworkers, welders and blacksmiths, sign makers, CNC and steel shapers, tattoo artists, and motorcycle builders, etc.
How long did it take you to create the 30 sissy bars?
Jerry - It took me roughly two weeks to fabricate all 30 sissy bar canvases. Again, this would be Monday through Friday from 8 PM to 12 midnight, every night, after my regular job!
How hard was it to get the featured artists involved, and what type of time frame were they given to complete the project?
Jerry - It wasn’t easy finding 30 artists working on a bunch of different mediums that could be used on or around a motorcycle. A handful of the artists I knew personally and I reached out to them first, but then I had to put a list together of roughly three artists in each medium that I wanted to spotlight. My choices ranged from some of the top artists and craftsmen in their field to some of the smaller up-and-coming artists with amazing skill sets. Down to people who did not think they were qualified and did not consider themselves artists, but boy did they prove themselves wrong! As with every submission I received back, each was an absolute masterpiece. It took a good month to find the artists on the list and get commitments. Not everybody I reached out to was on board with the idea or didn’t have the time, or even responded. Once I solidified the list, I bought the materials and the consumables needed to fabricate the canvases. Then I had to package all the canvases up, and ship them to 30 different artists in 30 different locations in multiple countries. I left the artists roughly about two months to work on the project after they received them, depending on the timeframe the mail took to get there, but no artist had less time than that.
Big thanks to the fine folks at Cheap Thrills for including the Motorcycle Art Extravaganza in their show. How did the guests respond to the exhibit?
Jerry - The response by the crowd at Cheap Thrills was overwhelming. I expected a lot of people to roll through, but it was so busy with people from start to finish that I couldn’t even break away from the conversation, shaking hands or explaining things to take many pictures. However, everybody’s response was 100% positive, and everyone was amazed by the art produced.
Where are you and the exhibit heading next?
Jerry - The Extravaganza will be heading to the FUEL CLEVELAND Motorcycle show in Cleveland, Ohio, on November 6. After that, I have two other possible viewings in the works that are still under discussion, but I’ve not been solidified yet, so I don’t want to jinx myself. LOL
What are your plans for the Motorcycle Art Extravaganza?
Jerry - Obviously Fuel, and possibly another couple of viewings for this year. Then the plans are to raffle off each piece of art online, so the people that enjoyed the art and the people in the motorcycle community have a chance of owning some fantastic art created by some amazing artists that will only be done once. That means I will be having this event once a year as long as it’s possible, and I will not have an artist submit more than one piece of art, so each year, the artists will change. So, everybody will have a chance to win an amazing piece of art from a talented artist that’s signed and will be a “one-of-a-kind.”
Here is a small taste from the show. Please attend Fuel Cleveland this weekend to see the rest
Air, Oil & Lead
Where can people follow you and the MAE?
Jerry - At the moment, all information for the motorcycle art exhibit can be viewed only on Instagram at @motorcycle_ art_ extravaganza. Still, I am working with someone to create a website for this, and hopefully, that will be up and running soon. Information on 812inc can be found on Instagram, and at my site at www.812inc.com.
Is there anyone you would like to thank?
Jerry - I could go on forever, but I’ll try to keep it short and sweet…
A) To begin, I would like to sincerely thank all of the artists involved in this year’s extravaganza. Without them, this wouldn’t exist.
B) Thanks to StuckUp Sticker Company for being a sponsor and helping tremendously with advertising and promotional items and YOU AND CC, for the constant support you've given me from the beginning, the confidence to attempt such things, and for the sponsorship and friendship you have shown.
C) Dusty, James, & Walter from Cheap Thrills for allowing me to premier this extravaganza at such a fantastic motorcycle event.
D) Freddy Riehl for the support and help with signs and plaques
E) Everybody who has supported me and backed me and pushed me to follow my dreams, and everybody in the community that supports what I am trying to do. You are all greatly appreciated…
Enjoy that beer, my friend You deserve it! I want to thank Jerry for his help with this feature and Steve Soraci for assisting with the photos. Be sure to follow them!