Lori and I have been looking forward to Corvettes at Carlisle for the better part of a year. Corvettes at Carlisle 2020 did not disappoint! I have been around car people for the better part of my life. I know that car people are family. Sure… there are Chevy vs. Ford arguments… but for the most part, car people are friendly. We learned at this event that Corvette people are a very tight-knit group! Even though I showed up on Day 1 wearing my Hot Wheels Camaro polo, I was welcomed and began four days of some great conversations.
I have been working hard over the last year and couldn't wait to publicly display some of my latest pieces. And OMG! Seeing people’s eyes light up when they approach our display and tell us, “oh my goodness! We saw your booth from clear across the room,” gave me an overwhelming feeling of pride and accomplishment.
Oh, did I have some great conversations!
One of my favorite things was listening to the stories of the people that visited my booth. I remember talking to one guy for probably 45 minutes. I still don’t know if he had any interest in commissioning me or buying one of my prints, but I truly enjoyed the conversation! I treasure those moments. Some of the lengthy discussions I had with people had nothing to do with cars. I heard stories about these Corvette owners growing up and how they had always wanted a Corvette (or another classic car).
One conversation I will not forget was with an 82-year-old woman. We were standing at the edge of my booth and talking about her and her Corvette. I was asking my usual questions about what kind of Vette she had, what color, etc. She started telling us about how she takes her Corvette to the race track! I don’t remember the exact words, but they were something along the lines of “Corvettes are meant to be driven fast, and I like to drive fast, so I do!” So inspiring!
I think the last conversation we had happened as we had started packing up our prints. A gentleman and his daughter came over and just stopped. We could see her eyes light up! Lori asked her a question, I can’t remember what, but it was probably along the lines of “are you enjoying the show?” This young lady proceeded to ask us very well thought out, beyond her years’ questions about our photography! I was SO IMPRESSED! Then she started talking about cars, and I thought I was talking to an up and coming car specialist! Her knowledge, word choices, the way she carried herself, and her complete enthusiasm for the car world blew me away. I sat down on my cooler so I could answer her questions at her level, eye to eye, and I could tell she enjoyed having someone talking to her not as an adult to a child, but as one car enthusiast to another.
One family I met was a grandfather, his son, and his grandson, are all Corvette owners. They were so excited to learn I could do a legacy portrait of the three of them and their Corvettes. This portrait will be passed down for many generations to come.
I met with another gentleman whose son has a custom Camaro, and a custom made guitar that matches his car. How cool is that! Now they just need one of my light paintings to complete the set! Am I right?
Another favorite that I was excited to hear about was a Dad giving his son his older Corvette when he gets his new C8. We talked about commemorating this with one of my light paintings of the two Corvette’s and Dad giving his son the keys, thus capturing an unforgettable memory in an image to be passed on for decades to come.
I could honestly write a book about all the conversations we had that weekend …we are blessed to have met so many people that are so enthusiastic about cool car stuff!
I fell in love with the story of the 1960 Briggs Cunningham Corvette and Chip Miller’s Quest to find and restore it. So naturally, I was honored to be able to create a light painting of it! That same day I light painted two of Lance Miller’s other cars, the Dale Earnhardt C5R and the Matech Ford GT. I wanted to support the Chip Miller Amyloidosis Foundation so I decided to create limited edition prints of both #3… and limit them each to 33 prints to be made. Both limited edition #1/33 prints were donated to help raise money for the Chip Miller Amyloidosis Foundation.
Being up on stage and hearing my images talked about and seeing the bidding going on was really, really cool! Seeing the auction staff showing my metal print to the crowd and seeing the eyes light up was exciting! I’ve donated artwork to auctions before, but this was the first time I’ve had a chance to see the behind the scenes. The conversations with the auctioneer and hearing about his strategy to get top dollar were interesting. Listening to how he planned to keep the crowd going was really neat. It was really cool to see and hear the bidding going up, and knowing that this is raising money for such a worthy cause was a great way to circle back to that original conversation with Lance a couple of years ago in Hershey.
The Carlisle event family is truly incredible at what they do! I say family because they are that closely knit. I am already starting to plan my donations for the auction. Being able to support such a worthy cause is an honor.
Who is going to have THEIR car or cars on display at my booth next year at Corvettes at Carlisle 2021?