Artist donates 12,000-pound brick Pontiac to Gilmore museum

'Mom's Favorite Car' arrives on trailer at Gilmore museum's vintage Shell station | Gilmore photos
‘Mom’s Favorite Car’ arrives on trailer at Gilmore museum’s vintage Shell station | Gilmore photos

We often write about classic cars as rolling sculpture. Well, the newest vehicle at the Gilmore Car Museum truly is a sculpture, but since it is made of 12,000 pounds of bricks, it doesn’t really roll.

“Mom’s Favorite Car” is the name of the bas-relief brick sculpture that artist Paula Blincoe Collins has donated to the museum. Collins, who has done more than 200 brick sculptures, created the car for the recent ArtPrize competition in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

“It’s a 1940 Pontiac that will never rust,” Collins is quotes in the museum’s news release.

It's the Pontiac 'that won't rust,' says artist
It’s the Pontiac ‘that won’t rust,’ says artist

“We were ecstatic to receive such a unique piece of art that was part of the world-renowned ArtPrize competition,” said Michael Spezia, the museum’s executive director. Spezia said the sculpture will become a focal point on the museum’s 90-acre campus in Hickory Corners, Michigan.

Collins, from Denton, Texas, was among nearly 1,500 artists from around the world who entered the eighth annual ArtPrize competition, which is staged at various locations in Grand Rapids, where some $500,000 is awarded to artists in a “radically open” competition. Winners are determined by a combination of public votes and an expert jury.

More than 380,000 public votes were cast this year at what is believed to be the most attended public art event in the world. Collins’ Pontiac was ranked fifth in the three-dimensional category.

Her previous work includes commissions for bas-relief brick sculptures at the soccer venue for the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, for a history mural at the Fort Worth Intermodal Transportation Center, and a life-sized tree inside the tallest building in Oklahoma City.

“Mom’s Favorite Car” was created to honor the first car in which Collins’ mother, Aileene, rode. Fittingly, the car was delivered to the Gilmore on October 10, her mother’s 90th birthday.

Pontiac sculpture will be displayed on Gilmore campus
Pontiac sculpture will be displayed on Gilmore campus

Collins said she was very familiar with the Gilmore after spending her “wonder years in Michigan.”

She attended Michigan State University as well as the University of Missouri and graduated from the University of Iowa. She did post-graduate work at Texas Woman’s University and has been working in art for more than 40 years, and in brick sculptures for more than 25 years.

“This pays homage to my family, my life and the sculptural beauty of the transportation created in the day,” she said.

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