The Art of Automobilia

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Writer / Janelle Morrison Photographer / Anthony Ross Tyler

Each year, Artomobilia features a distinct gathering of collector cars, automotive enthusiasts and recognized artists that are showcased on the streets of the Carmel Arts & Design District. Artomobilia boasts one of the most eclectic gatherings of original period-correct automobiles anywhere, including Supercars, Exotic, Sports Cars, Classics, Racers, Historically Preserved, Indiana Built, Sedan/Coupe and more. The event brings in an estimated 20,000 spectators and enthusiasts into the heart of the city of Carmel.

This year’s event will take place on Saturday, August 27 and feature approximately 400 cars, an impressive array of musical talent performing at the West and East stages, a plein air painting event that spectators can watch and a live photo shoot exhibition with internationally renowned photographer Anthony Ross Tyler.

Capturing the Art of Metal

Each year, the Artomobilia celebrates automotive art and design, and there are few photographers that more clearly capture this than internationally recognized photographer Anthony Ross Tyler. Tyler will be shooting the Artomobilia Best in Show and the Artomobilia Penultimate. He will be taking reservations from select car owners that wish to have their car photographed before, during or after the Artomobilia August 27.

Tyler will present a “live photo shoot” exhibition throughout the day that features both his past work as well him actively applying his art. Those who wish to participate in the exhibition will be parked in a group near the Main stage, and their cars will be individually photographed in an “industrial” setting.

“Having attended numerous shows, I can say that Artomobilia is unique because it blends the art and the engineering in a way that I have never seen any other show do,” Tyler said.

Tyler, a resident of Nashville, Tennessee, has family in Greenwood and visits Indianapolis often. Through contacts and associations made over the years, Tyler was connected with John Leonard, and the two began brainstorming a new concept to include during Artomobila.

“John and I wanted to encapsulate the art form of the car as well as what I am trying to do when I shoot photography and put it into an event-type of stature that felt right for the show,” Tyler explained. “We came up with the expedition concept. It is a totally new concept for me and so not what I typically do, and that’s what makes it cool. It is highly experimental, and I have no idea which way this will go, but that again is part of the fun and excitement.

“I will have my examples of my large print work that I do for my commercial and private-owner clients. I will also have a few hardbound books of my work, so that people can see what I do. I’ll spend approximately 30-45 minutes on each car and will produce roughly four images per car out in the open, so that people can watch it all happen. Hopefully, they will enjoy watching the process.”

Learn more about Anthony Ross Tyler and see more of his work at

Exhibits en Plein Air

The Carmel Artomobilia is designed to celebrate automotive art and design, and there’s no better way to do celebrate this than to highlight recognized, as well as up-and-coming, artists and their work. In 2015, Artomobilia and the Hoosier Salon partnered to feature a plein air paicarnt-out and invited a collection of Indiana arts to paint in and around the cars of the Artomobilia.

The work of Wyatt LeGrand was selected for our annual commissioned painting to be used on our poster and program cover. For 2016, the Artomobilia will feature a number of artists and their art in the months preceding the show as well as on the day of the show. Jim May, Executive Director of the Hoosier Salon, spoke about the positive effect being a part of this event has had on the salon.

The Hoosier Salon is a statewide nonprofit arts organization whose mission is to create an appreciation of visual art by promoting Hoosier artists and is located in the heart of Artomobilia in the Arts and Design District.

“We’re right in the middle of it,” May enthused. “The event envelopes us, and with a crowd of over 15,000 people essentially at our front door, it is a great opportunity for us. We prop open our doors and invite everybody in to see the selected images of vehicles and cars that we put on display and attract the specific audience that is there. We had our highest grossing Saturday during the event last year and sold 25 works that morning. I hand-picked the artists for last year’s plein air, invitation only.

“This year, I’m going to open it up and broaden it to 20-25 artists. We are focused on artists that are really interested in the event itself and want to participate. Being a part of community events like Artomobilia and being positioned as an asset in the community is important to us. We are a not-for-profit who serves artists all over the state, but we really want to be involved in this community and want people to enjoy coming here. It helps us in the long run and opens doors for us beyond the gallery.”

For more information on the Hoosier Salon, visit

Behind Every Great Car are Great Songs and Memorable Nights

Locally owned Artist Development Company (ADC) does just that. It develops artists and produces local events with precision and expertise. ADC was founded by Carmel’s own Blair Clark. Clark is a professional vocalist, songwriter, producer and renowned coach who is also known for his ability to put on an entertaining show for local events.

“We started ADC to fill the void that was left when the record industry stopped doing artist development. We fill that void by taking artists, develop them with social media, photo shoots, video, websites, etc., and groom them as artists. We coach them and work with them on developing their own performance style. We are a one-stop-shop for individuals and companies who need a presence and any of the services that we provide.

“I first became involved with Artomobilia through a dear friend of mine, Terry Ceaser-Hudson, who is the Executive Director for the Indiana Children’s Wish Fund. The Indiana Children’s Wish Fund is the beneficiary of the Fuelicious fundraising event hosted by John Leonard and his team the night before Artomobilia. She connected me with John, and we immediately hit it off. I like working with him. The great thing about John Leonard is that he thinks outside of the box, inside of the community.

“It came to pass that ADC ended up handling all of the entertainment, stage set up, etc., for both Artomobilia and Fuelicious. Last year was our first year doing Fuelicious, and it was great. There were a lot of things that we liked about it and things that we found out that we could do different to make it even better. For example, this year at Fuelicious, there has been great collaboration on some new ideas, and one we are going to do is an on-site fishing expedition at the Lucas Estate, utilizing the big beautiful pool. We are going to have fishing poles, and people will donate to get a fishing pole and attempt to catch the magnetized ‘fish’ that will be in the water.

“When they pull a fish out of the water, it will be attached to a prize. It could be a big screen TV or perhaps a trip somewhere. It depends on what kind of donations we get, but it will be a lot of fun. We are really excited about that activity. The music aspect of these events is,
of course, my passion, and it has been great experience for me to be able to contact phenomenal musicians and give them work opportunities.

“This year, we’ll have a bluegrass band playing on one of the stages at Artomobilia. Fun Factor will be performing as well as a solo artist. My band, the Blair Clark Band, will be performing at  Fuelicious, and Mark Armstrong, a saxophonist, will be playing as the cars drive up to the Lucas Estate.”

As a longtime resident and business owner in Carmel, it is important to Clark to support local businesses, artists, musicians and organizations.

“For me, it’s very important that we constantly feed the community and the community element, keeping it innovative and entertaining.”