Submitted by Keith Ashley

Come to the CARS AS ART exhibit at the Northport, Michigan CARS AS ART exhibit, May 26–28, 2017.

Details: A first for northern Michigan, the CARS AS ART exhibition opens the start of Northport Arts Association’s summer season at the new Village Arts Building in Northport, Michigan. The exhibit, begins Friday May 26th, and continues thru Sunday May 28th. This exhibit compliments the popular “Cars in the Park” auto show in nearby Haserot Park.

The opening reception is Friday night 6pm to 9pm with about 20 retired designers roaming the building.  Wine and hors d’ oeuvres will be served with $15.00 cover charge. The exhibit is FREE on Saturday and Sunday.

Two hundred pieces of original concept car art representing the 1950s up through today’s designs will be on display. From an era when Detroit ruled the world of automotive styling, more than a dozen iconic designers of “dream cars” will participate including, Jerry Palmer, Corvette; Dave McIntosh, Cadillac visionary; Ernie Barry, Viper program; Bob Hubbach, Copperhead and Atlantic; and Jim Ebejer, Dodge Charger, to name a few. In addition to displaying at this exhibit, some will make brief presentations on the subject of design. Additionally, concept car collector extraordinaire, Joe Bortz, will be present as well as Leon Dixon, author of the book Creative Industries, and filmmaker Robert Edwards creator of the film “American Dreaming.”

This is a rare opportunity to view these works of art and to talk with their original designers. Speaking Friday evening at the exhibit’s paid admission reception will be, Jerry Palmer, Dave McIntosh, John Monoogian II, Robert Edwards, Leon Dixon, and Joe Bortz. Design demonstrations will be conducted Saturday by Bob Hubbach and Steven Brown.

We expect to draw crowds of all ages to our CARS AS ART exhibit over the Memorial holiday weekend with an educational component to the show that brings to the forefront, Northport Arts Association’s mission, which is to foster and promote artistic expression throughout the community. This spring, CARS AS ART organizers invited students at Leelanau area high schools to participate in a Concept Car design contest. Students are encouraged and guided in their design works by the very design professionals whose automotive art is featured at the show. All student contest participants will have their design works judged by several members of The League of Retired Designers and awarded prizes at the show.

  1. Ken Pickering

    I plan to be at the “Cars as Art” Friday evening event and the car show on Saturday and look forward to seeing a lot of old friends. Much credit for this remarkable gathering must go to Bill Collins and Keith Ashley. Collins is a former Pontiac engineer who was deeply involved in the Trans Am vehicles and has done much to support Northport Michigan by building the Village Arts Building and the local golf course. Ashley is a true “car guy” owning two special vehicles. Ashley stopped by my place recently in Traverse City to pick up some of my materials for display. Ashley has a treasure trove of great automotive art that will be displayed at this event, some of which has never been shown before..

    Ken Pickering

  2. john manoogian II

    Ken, I’m speaking Saturday. Looking forward to seeing you.

  3. Ken Pickering

    The “Cars as Art” exhibition in Northport Michigan over the 2017 Memorial Day weekend was a once in a lifetime experience.

    I don’t know how Keith Ashley was able to arrange this world class exhibition of about 200 pieces of automotive concept art. The event was attended by a “Who’s Who” of the automotive design business, those who were active contributors during the “Golden Age” of automotive design. Also attending, nationally famous car collector Joe Bortz, who has rescued and restored several GM Motorama cars that he found in horrible condition in a junk yard. I believe Keith and his lady Sherry were overwhelmed on Friday evening when 225 paid guests showed up in this small venue, vastly exceeding their expectations.

    Personally, I was able to meet and chat with many old design friends and meet some very interesting new friends.. I would be totally surprised if such an event including artwork, designers, authors and car collectors ever happens again anyplace else in the world.

    Ken Pickering

  4. Leon Dixon

    Ken is right. An amazing event in this quaint resort town… and the car show at the water’s edge was likewise very impressive! Keith Ashley and his associates hosted a very amazing event, very well attended by very enthusiastic car people. I was there and frankly, I’m still dazzled by the art, the cars, the automotive history and the guests. This one was a high water mark for special automotive events and had so much going on with so many interesting aspects, I’m still buzzing. In short, it was a dream event. Thanks to Keith and everyone who made it all possible.

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