May 2018 Writer \/\/ Janelle Morrison\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0 \u00a0 \u00a0 \u00a0\u00a0 \u00a0 \u00a0 \u00a0 \u00a0 \u00a0 \u00a0 \u00a0 \u00a0 \u00a0 \u00a0 \u00a0\u00a0 \u00a0 \u00a0 Photography \/\/ JJ Kaplan A 9-year-old Gary Dausch was introduced to the automotive world and racing by his grandmother who shared a family photo album containing the image of a truck that was covered in lettering. The truck had belonged to Dausch\u2019s \u201cGreat-Uncle Cannonball.\u201d Erwin \u201cCannonball\u201d Baker won the very first race held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 1909. From this introduction, Dausch\u2019s passion for automobiles and the art of creating them was conceived. \u201cI remember it well,\u201d Dausch recalled. \u201cThere was a photo of the \u2018Golden Submarine\u2019 with Barney Oldfield. That was the piece that I was painting last year at the Hoosier Salon during last year\u2019s Carmel Artomobilia. I just had to recreate some of that history, and it was such an interesting car.\u201d Before launching his career as a fine art automotive artist, Dausch received his degree in education and taught art for a couple years before deciding that wasn\u2019t where he really wanted to be. He took a job with a $60 million corporation starting out as an artist on a drawing board, and when he left, he had worked his way up to director of corporate communications. \u201cI was building race cars in my spare time and had started my own company fabricating race car parts for other people, having the molds built for them,\u201d Dausch said. \u201cI was doing this part-time and was doing freelance work as well while I worked full-time for the corporation and was running all over the world. It was crazy.\u201d Thirteen years later, Dausch went on to do some industrial design work with a local company but was fervently looking for an opportunity to work for a racing team. \u201cI always thought that I needed to be working with a race team, mainly because I love the cars and the design, but I had been studying what was going on in Europe with Formula One (F1) regarding sponsorships and F1 teams. I wondered why IndyCars weren\u2019t doing this. I saw an ad that Derrick Walker, Walker Racing, had for a marketing person. At the time, he was in Pennsylvania, and I didn\u2019t want to move there, but I sent the application anyway to see what would happen. A couple of months went by, and suddenly, I get this phone call from Derrick. He says, \u2018Are you still interested? Do you want to talk?\u2019 and I said, \u2018Well, yes.\u2019 He told me he was moving his whole race operation to Indianapolis, and then that door opened.\u201d As marketing director for Walker Racing, Dausch designed everything from sales materials and uniforms to race cars and business partnerships between car sponsors. \u201cIt was a very rare position for an IndyCar team to have a full-time artist on staff,\u201d he explained. \u201cI was very blessed to be able to do that.\u201d In 2008, Dausch went into an early retirement after working with Walker Racing for 15 years. \u201cI immediately began working on restoring three race cars, which kept me busy,\u201d he said. \u201cWhile I was with the team, I had started doing the car art, just to commemorate some of the things that we had done. The guys thought the pieces were cool, so I started doing prints. When I left the team, I had enjoyed it, so I continued doing what I could never find the time to do before. That\u2019s when I kind of rebuilt myself. I began doing automotive fine art, keeping a focus on what I really like, which are the portraits of the people and their cars. As part of that process, I invented my own way of doing things, and some of it is pulling on my experience of actually having built cars and then applying it to my paintings.\u201d Dausch\u2019s paintings will take an average of 100 hours as he applies a rigorous attention to detail in each of his paintings, aiming for accuracy down to very last fitting, rivet and screw. \u201cI tend to put lots of detail into my paintings,\u201d he admitted. \u201cThe process is a lot like restoring a car for me, but they take up a whole lot less room.\u201d Limited edition prints are also available in Dausch\u2019s work though limited to only 50 as a way to keep some rarity to his work. \u201cI try to create motion and the feeling that you are going to get run over by the car,\u201d Dausch said. \u201cI put you in places that you can\u2019t typically go, like standing in front of a moving race car. That\u2019s kind of the fun of what I do. Some of the fastest-looking cars I actually photographed in the garage areas. I take them and put them on the track with their proper driver.\u201d Another notable relative of Dausch\u2019s, his cousin Rosemary Browne-Beck had exhibited in the Hoosier Salon Exhibit for a number of years when she was actively painting. She was well known for her portrait work and still lives. \u201cI wanted to be part of that exhibit, and I became involved with Hoosier Salon as an organization after meeting Jim May, executive director at Hoosier Salon in Carmel, primarily so I could compete. I had not shown for years and did not have the time prior as I was doing other things. I got into the exhibit with a race car of all things. The exhibit is mostly portraits, still lives and landscapes and now one bright red Ferrari. That was great progress for me even to be accepted with those artists with the narrow niche that I run in. I\u2019m already working on things for this next year\u2019s exhibit.\u201d Dausch has also recently completed a remarkable tribute piece depicting Dan Gurney\u2019s 1963 Lotus 29 Ford with Jimmy Clark standing beside Team Lotus owner and founder of Lotus Cars, Colin Chapman, and both are looking down at Gurney seated in the race car. This piece brings back to life a fabulous piece of auto racing history. At some point, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway purchased Gurney\u2019s Lotus with plans to restore it to look like it does in Dausch\u2019s painting. \u201cI look back at all of this, and I know that I\u2019ve been blessed with this talent of a certain level,\u201d Dausch said. \u201cI keep trying to improve as it is something that God has given me, and it\u2019s amazing how He opens doors in my life.\u201d If you\u2019re interested in meeting and speaking with Gary Dausch about his career and his artwork, he is planning to attend this year\u2019s Carmel Artomobilia in August and will likely be hanging out at the Hoosier Salon, eager to share his remarkable stories. Visit Gary Dausch\u2019s gallery at gdausch.com.