Va Va Vroom! The Art of the Vehicle
April 19th – June 14th
Opening Reception: Sunday, April 19th, 3 – 5 PM
The Carriage Barn Arts Center celebrates artists’ captivation with the romance, power and styling of motoring vehicles in its Va Va Vroom! The Art of the Vehicle exhibition at its Waveny Park gallery, 681 South Avenue, New Canaan, CT. The show, on view from Sunday, April 19 through Sunday, June 14, 2015, features contemporary paintings, drawings, photographs and sculptures by 35 artists from Connecticut and New York as well as vintage advertising posters, motorcycles and car models. Curated by Marianne Brunson Frisch, an art and automobile curatorial and public relations professional, the display highlights the reciprocal influence of both realms of creative expression.
This group art show honors the history of the 19th-century Carriage Barn in Waveny Park. The Co-Directors Eleanor Flatow and Arianne Kolb stated: “we conceived the theme of the show as a way to educate our community about the rich heritage of Waveny and the original function of the Carriage Barn.” Waveny is long familiar with vehicles, being embraced by the Lewis Lapham family, who built their home on the 480-acre countryside property in 1912. The 1895 Carriage Barn, which was restored by the Laphams in 1913, originally housed horses, carriages, and cars. These included their stylish and expensive French 1903-04 Charron, Girardot et Voight touring car. Son Jack Lapham, his wife and their four children were pilots, landing their planes on the Waveny fields. Jack Lapham flew his two-seater Spartan biplane to Waveny from their Texas home in 1928, quite an impressive accomplishment at the time. The exhibit includes early photographs documenting their feats.
Automobiles, motorcycles, bicycles and planes are evocative muses for fine artists. Symbols of freedom and fantasy, emblems of power and beauty, these “rolling sculptures” have sparked our collective imaginations. Works in all media focus on the various modes of transportation, from the past to the present. Max Itin’s Fins photographic study of a 1959 Cadillac Eldorado iconizes this symbol of 1950s American automobile design. Miggs Burrough’s Indian lenticular photograph merges two images that alternate as the viewer passes by, conveying adventures from the motorcycle’s storied past. The masterfully rendered Radial Engine pencil drawing by Andre Junget details the elegant craftsmanship of a vintage airplane. Alan Sosnowicz and Ken Scaglia draw and paint reverent portraits of cars, spotlighting their signature features. David Barnett’s fanciful flying contraptions are intricately composed of extraordinary found materials.
The drama of motorcar and motorcycle racing is captured in the graphically charged prints and advertising posters by mid-20th-century French illustrator Geo Ham on loan from Doug Zumbach. Ham’s dynamic compositions heightened the excitement for motoring and aviation competitions, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans and Monaco Grand Prix.
Vintage motorcycles take the stage with three bikes from the collection of New Canaan-resident Buzz Kanter. These two-wheeled sculptures include a British 1930s JAP racer, an American 1947 Indian Chief and a 1966 Café Racer Ducati. Together with a 1915 Harley-Davidson motor and early racing posters, these works demonstrate the inventive ingenuity of engineering and design.
Va Va Vroom! The Art of the Vehicle is generously sponsored by Bankwell, Caffeine & Carburetors, Thom Filicia, Inc., HTG Investment Advisors, Hutchinson Tree Care Specialists, Karl Chevrolet, Moffly Media, New Canaan Advertiser, NewCanaanite.com, New Canaan Preservation Alliance, New Canaan Wine Merchants, Rosie, Strawberry & Sage, William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty and Zumbach’s Gourmet Coffee.
A symposium on Thursday, April 30, 6:30pm, at the Carriage Barn Arts Center will further explore the interrelationship between motoring vehicles and fine art. The collectors Buzz Kanter , Doug Zumbach and Kent Bain, and the artists Chris Osborne and Alan Sosnowicz are among the panelists. The symposium is sponsored in part by the New Canaan Community Foundation.
The Monaco Grand Prix Fundraiser for the New Canaan Society for the Arts, which operates the Carriage Barn Arts Center, will center around Va Va Vroom! on Saturday, May 16th, 7pm, with food and drinks, an auction and dancing. Monaco Grand Prix is generously funded by Monza Sponsors: Callari Cars, Tasting Room by Lot 18, Moffly Media; Silverstone Sponsors: BTS Insurance, New Canaan Advertiser, Rick Kallaher Photography; and Hockenheim Sponsors: Lampert, Toohey & Rucci, LLC, NewCanaanite.com, Rangeley Capital, Karl Chevrolet and MH Graphic Design Solutions.
Two workshops for children ages 7-12 will be offered by the artist and teacher Nancy Scranton on the following Sundays from 2- 3:30 pm: April 26th and May 3rd. Gen Re, the Kiwanis Club of New Canaan, the Newcomers Club, and the Rotary Club of New Canaan are sponsoring these workshops, which will be held at the Carriage Barn Arts Center. The fee is $20 for non-members and $15 for members. Space is limited and reservations are required on the website- www.carriagebarn.org or phone 203-972-1895.
Information about the exhibition, symposium and related programs and the Monaco Grand Prix Fundraiser is available at www.carriagebarn.org or phone 203-972-1895.