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Automotive Fine Arts Society Returns to Pebble Concours

The Automotive Fine Arts Society will celebrate its 24th annual show at the 2009 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance on August 16, 2009, with the most impressive exhibit in the group’s history.

Barry Rowe's 2009 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance PosterSponsored by the Lincoln Division of Ford Motor Company, the exhibit will include paintings and sculptures by the world’s premier automotive fine artists on the Concours field of cars on the 18th fairway of Pebble Beach Golf Links. The AFAS is an international association of automotive artists who create pieces in mediums including watercolors, acrylics, oils, wood and various metals.

“The Pebble Beach Concours has become the world’s celebration of the wonderful, rich heritage of the automobile,” said AFAS president, Ken Eberts. “AFAS has been an important part of that celebration for the past 24 years and we’re looking forward to being part of this historic occasion. We’ll have the largest group of members exhibiting there over the past decade and the number of originals to be debuted is amazing. This may be our best exhibit at the Concours to date.”

Additionally, Automotive Fine Arts Society Member and award winning artist, Barry Rowe, has been commissioned for the fourth time by the Pebble Beach Company to create the official poster for the 2009 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. The 48″ x 36″ acrylic on canvas painting, which pays homage to European icons Bentley and Bugatti, will be unveiled during the Concours. Rowe’s poster art will also be displayed during the AFAS Pebble Beach Concours exhibit, alongside masterpieces by fellow AFAS members.

“I’m honored to be chosen again to create the Pebble Beach poster artwork,” said Rowe. “The Pebble Beach Concours has developed into the brightest, most elegant stage in the world of classic automobiles. This year’s task was to capture the style and beauty of two of Europe’s most sought after marques, Bentley and Bugatti. I believe I accomplished that by staging some of the most legendary models in front of the beautiful Lodge at Pebble Beach.”

Rowe’s poster art showcases a 1930 Bentley 8-Litre Vanden Plas Tourer in front of The Lodge at Pebble Beach, with a Bentley Continental R and a Bugatti Type 57C Atalante in the background. Each classic automobile has an impressive history, including the Bentley 8-Litre, which has a personal connection to a former Bentley chief.

“This Bentley Vanden Plas is quite interesting visually, with subtle differences in gray on the body and wings,” noted Rowe. “And from a historical perspective, this car was driven by former Bentley Motors owner Woolf Barnato on his honeymoon.”

In order to perfect the color of the Bentley Vanden Plas, Rowe received paint samples from Graham Moss, who is restoring the car. The poster also features several onlookers admiring the beauty of the British giant beneath a crisp California sky.

“Barry Rowe is one of the most respected automotive artists in the world and we’re pleased that he could once again create the official Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance poster,” said Concours Chairman Sandra Button. “Great automobiles are art on wheels, and Barry and his peers in the AFAS have captured their magnificence for many years.”

A native of England, Rowe studied graphic design at the College of Art in Coventry. He worked for several years as an art director in the advertising field before becoming a freelance artist in 1966 in order to pursue his passion for painting automobiles.

His career as a painter began when he won the Sotheby’s Art Award for his portrait of Juan Fangio. This led to commissions from Louis Vuitton of Paris, Royal Mail, Royal Doulton and Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. Rowe’s Pebble Beach credentials include eight Tour posters, four official Concours posters, six Awards of Excellence and the Lincoln Award in 2006.

This will be the AFAS’ 24th consecutive year to present the work of its members on the lawn of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. Each member artist who participates in the exhibit must show work not previously displayed at Pebble Beach, plus debut at least three new works (one for sculptors) that have never before been exhibited. The art presentation is, therefore, always fresh and highly anticipated.

“While the world’s greatest cars grace the field at Pebble Beach, the world’s greatest works of automotive fine art debuts each year in the AFAS tent,” added Bill Motta, vice-president of the AFAS. “Our members capture the beauty and passion of the automobile for the pleasure of those who attend the Concours. It’s a wonderful opportunity to share our pieces and draw inspiration from the Concours for future works.”

AFAS members will display and sell original artwork and limited edition prints during the Concours, as well as signed copies of the AFAS book, “AFAS: A Celebration of Automotive Art,” that was debuted at the Pebble Beach Concours in 2005. It records the history, artists and pieces created by AFAS members since the organization’s inception in 1983.

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[Source: AFAS]