Car Part Art Exhibit Converts Function to Form

The car you are driving today will be a good source of many recyclable materials tomorrow. In fact, around 80 percent of a car can be recycled, and much of it takes place while your car is still in service through aftermarket recycling. The National Corvette Museum’s new exhibit, Car Part Art, teaches visitors not only about car recycling – but also demonstrates how one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

Over 70 works of art have come together to fill the Museum’s Exhibit Hall, from Corvette hood liners serving as a canvas, to old rotors painted or welded or backlit to create interesting sculptures. Works have been created by artists, young and old, including area elementary, middle and high school students, to seasoned professionals from Nashville, TN; Philadelphia, PA; Paducah, KY, and more.

Guest Curator Andee Rudloff, a professional artist, consultant and educator, worked with the Museum to bring the exhibition together. “We started in April, officially announcing the exhibit on Earth Day, and since then we’ve worked to secure scrap car parts for artists, cultivated relationships between the artists and the Corvette Museum, and shared our enthusiasm and excitement about this new exhibition.”

The excitement was evident at the exhibit’s grand opening reception on Friday, September 18 when more than 40 of the participating artists, joined by their family, friends and Museum guests, gathered to celebrate the art. “We decided to recognize some of the exceptional pieces with out-of-the-box awards,” Andee said. “We invited some people from the community with unique but relevant backgrounds to serve as judges, and they carefully selected their favorites in categories like “Best Illumination,” “Precision Award,” and “Most Unique Use of Car Parts.”

The largest art piece, and perhaps the most eye-catching for a Corvette Museum visitor, is a 1960 Corvette inspired by art cars of greats like Britto, Warhol, Calder and Haring. “I chose a motif that was in concert with the car itself, addressing the contours, historical context, and luxurious nature of the ‘Vette,” said artist Christopher Hayes. The car was transported all the way from Colorado, courtesy of Intercity Lines, and certainly earned the “Biggest Impact” award.

Rounding out the exhibit are five pieces on loan from Michelin – all entries in their InTIREnational competition which challenges participants to create a piece of art with an international theme using up to four scrap tires donated by Michelin.

The exhibit was made possible with the help of sponsors Michelin, PPG Automotive Refinish, US Bank and Intercity Lines. Additionally, car parts were graciously donated by: Ace Auto Salvage of Nashville; A & S Auto Glass of Nashville; C&H Truck and Equipment; Corvette Central; Falloway Auto Parts; Final Finish of Morgantown, KY; Franklin Automotive Center; General Motors Bowling Green Assembly; Holley Performance Products; J.D. British Car Service; Midas; Parrish Auto Service; Barry & Jackie Passmore (Russell Springs, KY); Service Kind Collision Repair of Nashville; and Simpson County Tire and Auto.

The Car Part Art exhibit runs through January 8, 2016 at the National Corvette Museum and visitors are encouraged to vote for their favorite piece to receive the “People’s Choice Award” at the end of the exhibit period. Learn more at www.carpartart.org.