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Life Is a Highway: Art and American Car Culture opens Saturday, June 15 at the Toledo Museum of Art

Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo Art Museum, Toledo Museum
Holly Andres (American, born 1977), Anna’s Birthday Party #3, color photograph, 20 x 30 in., Image Courtesy of the Artist

Life Is a Highway: Art and American Car Culture opens to the public Saturday, June 15 and runs through Sept. 15, 2019 at the Toledo Museum of Art (TMA). Museum members can preview the exhibition beginning at noon on Friday, June 14.

In addition to the exhibition opening, TMA will host a car show Saturday from noon to 3 p.m. The car shows at TMA will take place in front of the Museum along Monroe Street, which will be closed to through traffic. Art and car enthusiasts alike are invited to view unique vehicles, enjoy live music, and participate in kid-friendly art making experiences.

The rise of the automobile as a popular visual symbol of American culture will be explored in Life Is a Highway: Art and American Car Culture. The exhibition will feature more than 150 works of art in a wide variety of media— including painting, sculpture, photography, film, prints and drawings— and a diversity of artists and perspectives, drawn from the TMA collection along with important loans from many other North American institutions.

Life Is a Highway is curated by Robin Reisenfeld, Ph.D., TMA’s works on paper curator.

“Located in one of the nation’s and the Midwest’s leading manufacturing centers, the Toledo Museum of Art is uniquely positioned to organize this groundbreaking look at the impact and iconography of the automobile in American visual culture,” said Brian Kennedy, TMA’s Edward Drummond and Florence Scott Libbey director. “TMA also serves as the arts centerpiece of Toledo’s thriving cultural community, and Life Is A Highway continues the Museum’s sustained commitment to engaging our visitors in new and creative ways through our exhibitions and educational offerings.”

Life is a Highway: Art and American Car Culture will present the multifaceted approaches visual artists have taken towards car culture. Each generation has experienced a changing dynamic with cars, and visual artists have been uniquely positioned to capture and examine that evolving relationship. Thematic groupings will explore the emergence of car culture, the on-the- road experience, automobility’s imprint upon the environment and its use as a signifier of wealth, status and cultural identity.

“The rich spectrum of artists and media in the exhibition represents the intensity of our experiences with the automobile over time and our evolving relationship to it as a symbol of social change. As an immersive treatment of the visual culture of automobiles, this exhibition ensures there will be something for everyone to discover and enjoy in the galleries,” said Reisenfeld.

Life is a Highway: Art and American Car Culture is presented by BP America with additional support from Taylor Cadillac, the Ohio Arts Council and 2019 Exhibition Program Sponsor ProMedica. Admission to the exhibition is free for Museum members and $12 for nonmembers, with discounts for seniors, college students, and military personnel ($10) and youth ages 5-17 ($7). Children four and younger receive free admission to the exhibition.