Of course every car designer longs to tackle something like the Corvette: a prestige car, sleek and speedy and exciting, destined for the covers of all the enthusiast magazines. Only a handful actually get to deliver renderings of the famed Chevrolet sports car, however, and that handful – and their visions – will become the focus of an upcoming art exhibit in Detroit.
The single-model art show, curated by one of the two art collectors behind the in-the-works American Dreaming documentary, will include more than 100 original drawings and models of every generation of the Corvette up to the current model, some rather close to the final production versions, some closer to the flights of fancy that the automakers’ advance studios would turn out.
Next month’s showing is a sort of sequel to the exhibit that Greg Salustro and Robert Edwards curated earlier this year at the Scarab Club in Detroit, an exhibit intended to elevate the heretofore lightly heralded works of automotive studio artists from mere commercial renderings to fine art. “We’re doing this to recognize a huge part of American culture and car culture that has largely been overlooked,” said Edwards, who has taken on curation duties for the Corvette exhibit. “My big hope and dream is that this concept work will be recognized as fine art worthy of inclusion in art museums.”
Edwards said the idea for the exhibit came from John Peters, a member of the Scarab Club’s board and a Corvette enthusiast. Edwards then tapped the network of retired auto designers he’s met through the documentary, along with GM’s and The Henry Ford’s archives, to gather as many Corvette renderings as he could find.
“The Corvette exhibit is definitely different from any of our previous exhibits because it is a special model and the Corvette seems to really personify a certain aspect of the America dream,” Edwards said. “Corvettes have always been beautiful objects, and that’s an interesting aspect to explore in this exhibit.”
The exhibit includes work from Robert Cumberford, Larry Shinoda, Bill Porter, Wayne Cady, Mary Ellen Dohrs, Roger Hughet, Randy Wittine, Peter Brock, Allen Young, George Camp, and C. Hatfield Bills. Edwards also managed to track down a rare sketch done by Harley Earl himself – though a design genius, Earl almost never drew out his ideas in later years – of some headlamp arrangements for the Corvette.
In addition to the works done by GM employees, the exhibit will feature a few select pieces of advertising artwork, as well as future Corvette renderings by the League of Retired Automotive Designers and by student artists at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit and Lawrence Technological University in Southfield, Michigan.
Edwards said he’s hoping to recruit some of the Corvette designers still living in the Detroit area to participate in some gallery talks and other events during the exhibition.
The American Dreaming, Corvette: 7 Generations and Beyond exhibit will take place January 4 to February 4 at the Scarab Club. For more information, visit ScarabClub.org.
Article courtesy of Hemmings Daily, written by Daniel Strohl.