Artscape: What Drives an Artist to Paint Cars?

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Bob Hieronimus and his art car. Photo by Steve Ruark.

Bob Hieronimus recounts his notable artistic accomplishment of painting more than 50 murals in Baltimore.

There’s the 2,700 square-foot “The Apocalypse,” finished in 1969 at Johns Hopkins University, which depicts history as a cyclical force. His “E Pluribus Unum” completed in 1985 features famed diners at the Lexington Market. The 1996 “A Little Help From Our Friends” on the side of the Safe and Smart Community Resource Center on Greenmount Avenue portrays inspirational figures from Bob Marley to Rachel Carson.

But Hieronimus’ friendly blue eyes light up when he explains that his preferred canvas comes on four wheels. This summer will mark his 6th year participating in Artscape’s Art Car Exhibit, displaying a biodiesel-fueled 1984 Mercedes, known as “We the People.”

One of the nation’s largest free arts festivals, Artscape welcomes more 350,000 visitors during its three-day run each July and generates nearly $26 million for Baltimore. This year’s festival runs July 20-22 and marks its 31-year anniversary and its 19th year showcasing the art car exhibit.

One of Artscape’s most popular feature, the exhibit showcases cars with outlandish designs covering every inch of their frame. The cars attract a crowd, some with their mouths agape and observing in silence and others chatting with their friends about the visual spectacle before them. Artists design their cars without restraints, says Artscape Visual Arts Coordinator Jim Lucio. Art cars have ranged from a giant banana to an all-glass motif.

Read more at Bmore Media

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