In January 2017, The Scarab Club will host an exhibition titled “American Dreaming, Corvette: 7 Generations and Beyond.” The exhibition, which coincides with the 2017 Detroit International Auto Show, will include original drawings and models created by General Motors designers between 1952 and 2014 (C1 to C7 Corvette models).
The exhibition will honor the creative vision of those designers. It will also include a limited number of student drawings. The Scarab Club will produce a catalog for the exhibition that will include the work of all participating artists and artists whose work is only available digitally.
Since its introduction in 1953, the Chevrolet Corvette has become the definitive American sports car. The design of this automotive icon took shape at a drafting board with pencil on paper, driven solely by the imagination of artists practicing a unique Detroit art form: automotive design. It is the conceptual art of the Corvette that this exhibition celebrates.
American Dreaming; Corvette, 7 Generations & Beyond has three parts: an exhibition of rare vintage concept drawings from General Motor’s Corvette Studios, a design competition open to current transportation design students, and an exhibition of Corvette advertising art from the 50s – 90s.
Mid Century Corvette concept art: Automotive design studios were the enclaves of talented visionaries who produced thousands of designs for each car model. The art works they created were trade secrets and routinely destroyed as company policy dictated. Very few examples of Corvette concept art exist. This exhibition includes the best examples from private collections and General Motors Design Archives and Special Collections.
Student Competition—“Mid-Engine Corvette Conceptualization”:
Students from the leading transportation design schools including the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, Lawrence Technological University in Southfield, Mich. and Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, Calif. The judges will include Jay Leno, Robert Cumberford and Bill Robinson. Cash prizes will be awarded. Entries will be exhibited.
Corvette Advertising Art – The Secreto Collection: Romancing car buyers with beautiful, evocative images was the realm of advertising artists, photographers and writers. Examples of Corvette advertising will be exhibited from the collection of Detroit Photographer Jim Secreto.
Exhibition curators, John Douglas Peters and Robert Edwards spent the past year organizing the artwork and catalog. This exhibit of Corvette art is the first of its kind and will give recognition to designers of the Corvette and celebrate the most important art form Detroit can claim as its own—automotive concept art.
The Scarab Club, whose founding members over 100 years ago came from Detroit’s newly formed automotive industry can take pride in honoring its roots and furthering the acceptance of automotive concept art as a Detroit art form and as fine art.
The American Dreaming exhibition will run from January 4 through February 19. The Scarab Club is open Wednesday through Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. Club officials will host a reception toasting the exhibit on January 6 at 5:00 p.m. and a gallery talk on January 19 at 6:00 p.m. The Scarab Club is located at 217 Farnsworth Street in Detroit. For additional information visit the Scarab Club’s page on the exhibit or call 313–831–1250.