Monday, October 25, 2021

Cars & Art Collide At Annual Car Show

A Chevrolet Corvette is a fast car. It’s aerodynamic, powerful, and fun to drive. Classic and beloved, it’s  pure Americana.

When it comes to automobiles, we often consider horsepower and miles per gallon and economics. We think of cars as purely mechanical— a vessel to get us from point a to point b. Cars are a commodity not often associated with artistic expression; though they’re intricately designed and often colorful, cars are not viewed as artwork. 

Cars as Art, an event held at the Marco Island Center for the Arts, is hoping to change that perspective. The annual show, sponsored by Hagerty Classic Car Insurance, allows car aficionados and local artists to come together in order to fundraise for the art center. Vintage, luxury, and sport cars are displayed and judged by artists Mila Bridger and Orest Poluch based on their aesthetic and artistic design.

“We let the artists do the judging and they look at cars different than us car guys do,” Keith Pershing said. Pershing is the owner of Island Automotive and acts as a chairman of the event. He began working on cars when he was just 12-years-old. Now it’s his life’s passion.

“When you rebuild an engine you got pieces and parts all over,” Pershing said. “You put it all back together, the very first time you start it you bring it to life. For me that’s almost like having a baby. Because it was nothing and now it’s alive and breathing.”

Judge Orest Poluch has a Fine Arts Degree from the University of Guelph in Guelph, Ontario, Canada. He is heavily involved in the Guelph and Toronto art scene and has judged in his fair share of art competitions. Currently, he works as a wine consultant. As an avid car buff, Poluch “appreciates all detail of design.”

Photographer Mila Bridger, co-judge, is best known for her absurdist/surreal photos featuring what she calls a “manufactured fantasy.” The 39-year-old is a native of Poland but now lives in the Southwest Florida area. 

After carful consideration, Poluch and Bridger dubbed Amil Handeguand’s 1952 white Jaguar XK120 Best in Show. 

Those attending the event voted for their favorite car based on subjectivity alone. Whichever car spoke to them on an artistic level, they were able to vote for. First place for People’s Choice went to Sal Campo for his 1954 Rolls Royce Silver Wraith, Wanda Coady came in second with her 1906 Cadillac Model K, and Adele Duba took home third with her 1991 Nissan Figaro.

Co-chair Claire Keery said, “We were very pleased with the attendance, the cars were amazing, the event was a success, the backdrop of the art center is wonderful and people left with a smile on their face.”

Proceeds from Cars as Art benefit art programs at the Marco Island Center for the Arts, 1010 Winterberry Drive, Marco Island, 239-394-4221.

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