Eye Candy: Car Part Art exhibit at the National Corvette Museum

Just part of the car-part art on display at the National Corvette Museum | Larry Edsall photos
Just part of the car-part art on display at the National Corvette Museum | Larry Edsall photos

Many people consider classic cars to be rolling sculptures, works of art that still work.

Collector cars do more than just sit on a pedestal or hang on a wall. They still function as their makers intended, transporting people and their stuff from place to place, even if now it’s just from the home garage to a local cruise-in and back again.

And while they may have outlived their usefulness on a functioning vehicle, old car parts also have artistic value. More than 70 such works of art are part of a temporary exhibit — Car Part Art — that opened in mid-September and runs through January 8, 2016, at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

The exhibit was designed, the museum says, to teach visitors not only about car recycling but to demonstrated how one man’s trash is another’s treasure.

“The car you are driving today will be a good source of many recyclable materials tomorrow,” the museum said in announcing the exhibit. “In fact, around 80 per cent of a car can be recycled.”

Most of that recycling is on an industrial scale, but Car Part Art showcases another use — as art material.

Except for five pieces on loan from Michelin’s InTIREnational art competition which had artists creating sculptures from a set of scrap tires, the art on display in the museum’s Exhibit Hall was done by students and teachers from communities near the museum, as well as by professional artists from as far away as Philadelphia and Colorado.

Artist and educator Andee Rudloff served as guest curator. Her experience ranges from work at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts in Nashville to the Kentucky Arts Council board of directors and from curating the Johnny Cash Collection tour to the display of art at National International Airport.

“We started in April, officially announcing the exhibit on Earth Day,” Rudloff said in the museum’s September news release, “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 art on display at the Corvette museum ranges from painted wheel covers to an entire car, a 1960 Corvette art-car by Colorado artist Christopher Hayes.

For additional details, visit the exhibit website.

Photos by Larry Edsall

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