Route 66: Recent Creations, Retro Collections
May 28 - October 2, 2016
Focusing on Route 66 in Arizona, the exhibition strives to put the everlasting allure of Route 66 into perspective, showing how the existing Route as well as the route of memory continue to inspire artists today.
In some ways, Route 66 is more popular today than it was a half-century ago during the heyday of automobile travel in the 1950s and ‘60s when it reached its zenith as American’s main east-west thoroughfare. Built in 1926, it ran from Chicago to L. A. During the depression in the 1930s, it became the major path by which people migrated west, seeking work, warm weather and new opportunities. But it wasn’t until after World War II that Americans really hit the Mother Road in station wagons and Airstreams, on Harleys and Indians. Vacations to recapture the Western myth had begun. Each summer, tens of thousands of travelers still flock to Route 66, trying to recapture a simpler time when families piled into station wagons and lit out in search of adventure. Motor West!
Exhibition artist Tamara Ruiz shares: “Growing up in Missouri, my childhood memories of road trips and family vacations revolved around Route 66. Roadside attractions, diners and neon signs. What could be better? I was fascinated by the bright colors and graphic designs on the signs and buildings skirting the highway. I frequently use the iconic Route 66 imagery in my mixed media work. The nostalgia draws viewers into the painting for a closer look. I find the unique architecture, signage and attractions even more charming today – as they bring back memories of a time before the nondescript strip malls that line todays highways.”
Paintings by Jessica Garrett, Stephanie Hartshorn, Shelby Keefe, Tamara Ruiz, Linda Shearer-Whiting and Bob Boze Bell
Bronzes by Clyde “Ross” Morgan
Contemporary photographs by Tim Alexander and Nick Leonard
Historic automobiles, postcards and memorabilia from several private collections