The 31st Annual Automotive Fine Arts Society Exhibition at Pebble Beach: A Judge’s Perspective
Ken Eberts and Edsel Ford II at the 2016 AFAS Exhibit at Pebble Beach
By Michelle Cousineau
Event photos by David Gooley
A phone call from artist Tom Hale brought wonderful news — the Automotive Fine Art Society (AFAS) asking if I would participate as a judge at their 2016 Pebble Beach Exhibition! Of course the answer was yes, it would be an honor. I look forward to this event every year, the creativity on display is remarkable. The Pebble Beach show is the premier annual showcase for this elite group, with member artists and invited guest artists traveling from around the globe to exhibit their works.
The exhibition opens the day before the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance with a preview party attended by concours participants and special guests. It is a nice opportunity to meet with the artists before the show opens to the public on Sunday. An awards ceremony recognizing artistic excellence also takes place at this reception. Prior to the festivities and the arrival of the guests, I reviewed the displays with the two other judges, Clint Sly of Hagerty Financial Services and Ralph V. Gilles, Head of Design for Fiat/Chrysler. We recognized the challenge ahead of us and spent hours looking at the art, which was an absolute pleasure. There is a great breadth of talent among these artists, their works in private collections and commissioned for concours events around the world.
The awards ceremony was interesting with Lincoln Motor Company President Kumar Galhotra speaking about the company’s sponsorship of the event. Edsel Ford II and Henry Ford III were in attendance and graciously assisted with awards presentation. The 2016 award winners are as follows: Athena Awards of Excellence went to Tom Fritz, Jay Koka, Stanley Rose, Barry Rowe and Richard Pietruska. The Art Fitzpatrick Award for work exemplifying automotive passion was awarded to Klaus Wagger. The Lincoln Award for Elegance was awarded to Ken Eberts, and the Peter Helck Award (judged by AFAS members) was given to Dennis Hoyt. To explore more of their work and view all the artists who participated, visit autoartgallery.com.