Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

All about cars at Faribault art center August 31, 2012

“Flower Car for a Living Detroit,” acrylic on canvas by Michigan artist Stephanie Gallison and part of the car pARTS exhibit at the Paradise Center for the Arts. The painting “represents life, hope and resurrection for the city of Detroit; the opposite of recession, decline and decay,” according to Gallison’s website.

IF YOU’VE FOLLOWED this blog for awhile, you know that I’m a supporter of the arts.

And I don’t specifically mean I write out generous checks to buy art or donate to an arts cause or such. I wish I could. But the fact is that my family, like many middle class families, needs to watch its budget.

That doesn’t mean, though, that my husband and I can’t treat ourselves to the occasional night out to see a play or enjoy a concert or catch a comedy show, or become members of the local arts center.

A snippet of the current car pARTS exhibit at the Paradise.

I appreciate that we have the Paradise Center for the Arts right here in Faribault as a venue to enjoy the visual and performing arts and even take a class, if I wish, but haven’t.

Perhaps because I grew up in the 1960s and 1970s in rural southwestern Minnesota, without access to the arts, I especially value the arts opportunities offered right here in my community, only blocks from my home. No need to drive up to the Cities or elsewhere.

Faribault artist Vivian Jones created this watercolor, “It Was Grandma’s Car,” for “car pARTS.”

For example, currently the juried exhibit, “car pARTS,” is showing in the PCA’s Carlander Family Gallery through September 25. The show is exactly as it name implies, artwork featuring cars or parts of cars.

The logo for the Faribo Drag-On’s Car Club.

Hanging out along Central Avenue during Faribault Car Cruise Night in May.

The subject seems an ideal one for this predominantly blue collar community which has a special fascination with cars. That’s my assessment, anyway, based on the long-standing Faribo Drag-On’s Car Club, the Classic Car Roll In on Tuesday evenings at the Country Kitchen and the recent start-up of the May-September third Friday of the month Faribault Car Cruise Night on downtown’s Central Avenue.

Following the car theme, the Paradise Community Theater will present six performances of the play, The Car by Carol Wright Krause, beginning September 14 and running through September 22.

Acrylic paintings of dogs in cars, by Julie M. Fakler of Faribault , are in the car pARTS exhibit.

The play seems the ideal mesh with “car pARTS,” one complementing the other.

Here’s a summary of The Car, pulled from the PCA website:

Meet the Banners, a picture perfect postcard of a 1950s American family with an all-American son, a doting mother and an honest car salesman of a father, who does everything by the book and has just recently purchased the car—a 1954 Hudson Hornet. But when their son suddenly joins the military, only to return with a Japanese wife, the family’s world is suddenly turned upside down. Things may not be as picture perfect as they seem. The Car hits a few potholes along the way, takes some sharp turns, but takes you on an engaging and entertaining ride.

Looking south on Central Avenue during the Faribault Car Cruise Night in May.

I’d love to see all those collectors who are members of the Drag-On’s and/or all those who will be participating in the last downtown car cruise of the season on Friday, September 21, among those attending The Car in Faribault’s historic theater.

I invite any of you with vintage vehicles, whether from Faribault or not, to drive to the theater in your vintage vehicles, park along historic Central Avenue and experience the arts scene here. Maybe even dress up in back to the 50s garb to truly embrace the time period of the play.

Do you know who owns this Hudson Super Jet?

And whoever owns this Hudson Super Jet, which I photographed at a car show in TeePee Tonka Park in 2009, you’d be especially welcome given the car in the play is a 1954 Hudson Hornet.

Just a close-up of the Hudson Super Jet, built either in 1953 or 1954, I believe.

FYI: Click here for more information about the Paradise Community Theater’s performance of The Car.

P.S. This additional postscript has nothing to do with the arts in Faribault. But it is related to my support of the arts via my work on Minnesota Prairie Roots. Earlier this week I posted about the Gabor and Edith Nemeth Study Collection, a priceless collection of 15th to 19th century paintings in Park Rapids. The Nemeth Art Center is attempting to raise $1,200 for a storage unit to safely store and protect the paintings. Since posting this story on Monday, five more contributions have been made to the cause via the NAC’s online fundraising campaign, which you can find by clicking here. You have four more days to donate.

To read my original post about the Gabor and Edith Nemeth Study Collection, click here.

© Copyright 2012 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


15 Responses to “All about cars at Faribault art center”

  1. Beth Ann Says:

    I absolutely LOVE the Hudson!! What a fabulous car that is!!! And it is great that the fundraising is going so well for the storage unit. The arts are important to everyone even if they don’t realize it! Kudos to you and the hubby for supporting them and for your blog which highlights and educates us all a little bit more on some of these things that we would not have known about!!

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      To be honest, it sometimes takes persuading to get Randy to an arts event. But he’s typically a good sport. He works on cars (as an automotive machinist) so I shouldn’t have to “sell” him on attending The Car.

      And, yes, I’m pleased that fundraising for the project in Park Rapids is moving along.

  2. That Hudson is pretty gorgeous!

  3. Jackie Says:

    I kinda want that “Flower car” painting…. It’s amazing.

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      If you want, I will check and see if it’s for sale. Some of the pieces were.

      • Jackie Says:

        Oh I would like it but I doubt I could afford it, so dont trouble yourself. But I really really like it. Today when I looked at it again I noticed the feet propped up on the hood of the car, Made me smile, I hadn’t noticed that before.

      • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

        Jackie, I didn’t notice the feet either. Thanks for pointing them out. Interesting how, each time we view a work of art, we notice something we didn’t see before. Please check artist Stephanie’s comment and go to her website. You may be able to afford a print.

  4. Stephanie Says:

    Hi Audrey, thanks for writing this post and featuring my painting “Flower Car For A Living Detroit” at the top! I appreciate it! It’s also so nice to be able to hear from someone who has attended an exhibition that I’m a part of. Especially, someone with a great blog 🙂 I’m going to try to figure out how I can “follow” it through my blogger… Thanks, again!

    Oh, also – “Flower Car” IS for sale! Although, my print-on-canvas version of it is considerably cheaper to own. The only difference between the print-on-canvas and original is the absence of the physical texture of the paint. Other than that, they’re identical! For pricing on that, you can contact me through my website http://www.stephaniegallison.com

    Have a great holiday weekend!

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Stephanie, so great to hear from you, the artist. You are most welcome regarding my posting a photo of your painting. I’ve directed Jackie to read your comment to check out the price of your prints. Thank you for stopping by from Michigan. I always love new readers and appreciate that you took the time to comment.

  5. treadlemusic Says:

    Way cool post!! Love Stephanie’s painting, also…..”grabbed my eye” right away! Your blog is the greatest!!! Hugs, Doreen

  6. Johny Says:

    Hello Audrey,

    This is probably a long shot since this post is so old, but would you happen to have a shot of the whole front end of the 54 super jet? My sons name is Hudson and this is by far the best pic of a front end for these cars. We want to put it above his bed.

    Thanks hope your doing well.

    • Johny, thanks for your kind words regarding my shot of the Hudson. I don’t have a close-up full front head-on shot, only the two shown in this post and one of the back. If you’re still interested, reply and we’ll connect via email.

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