The Driving Force Behind the Artomobilia Team
Writer // Janelle Morrison Photography // Courtesy of Artomobilia and Cardinal Acres Photography
While the exhibitors and attendees are enjoying Artomobilia Weekend, there is a dedicated team of volunteers who are behind the scenes, parking the beautiful cars, assisting attendees and orchestrating what is one of the most exciting and unique weekend events in the Midwest.
Artomobilia’s Volunteer Corps
We caught up with a couple of veteran volunteers with Artomobilia who shared their experiences and encouraged others who may be interested to join their team and experience the adrenaline rush and sense of fulfillment for themselves.
“Artomobilia is a fantastic event,” Kevin See, Artomobilia volunteer, emphasized. “I was first attracted to it by being just another local car nut, and I think I went my first year with my dad. Afterwards, I ended up seeking out John [Leonard] and asked how I could get involved. I enjoy the charitable aspect of the events and am very passionate about that.”
See described Artomobilia as being a community event where there is something for everybody to enjoy.
“There’s a community aspect to it, and that is one of the biggest things that makes it an enjoyable experience,” See said. “It doesn’t matter who you are or what kind of car you own—although there are some criteria that goes into the selection and judging process—but in general, we just want to make sure that everybody has the opportunity to have a really awesome experience.”
What See would like for potential new volunteers to know about the Artomobilia team is, “I got involved a few years ago as a brand-new dad that doesn’t have any money to buy any kind of ‘fun’ car but was welcomed by this group without any discrimination at all. It is a really dynamic group of people with diverse backgrounds who have found a common bond and put on an incredible annual event together.”
Introducing “Porsche-palooza” at Artomobilia
Brand new to Artomobilia this year is “Porsche-palooza.” The Artomobilia Team and the Central Indiana Region of the Porsche Club of America joined forces to host an event-inside-an-event called Porsche-palooza. The event will highlight some of the very best 356s to the latest 992 and everything in between. If you attended or participated in CruZionsville, formerly in Zionsville, you know how great that event was, and the Artomobilia team is continuing it in spirit with its Porsche-palooza event.
Longtime volunteer Larry Haskett has been volunteering at Artomobilia since its humble beginnings when it was first held nearly 12 years ago in a much less developed Carmel Arts & Design District.
He met the co-founder John Leonard through their mutual association with the Central Indiana Region of the Porsche Club of America. Haskett is also friends of CruZionsville founder Stephen Tarr, whose relocation to Florida is the reason for the event’s cessation.
“Steve [Tarr] started CruZionsville a few years ago and grew it from a 20 to 30 car show to a 100-plus car show that raised money for Alzheimer’s,” Haskett shared. “That show was highly successful for a one-day street show, and when Steve relocated to the south of Florida, John [Leonard] was able to transfer it this year as part of Artomobilia. The entry fees for Porsche-palooza will be donated to the Central Indiana Region of the Porsche Club of America for them to, in turn, donate it to their charity of choice.”
All Rise for the Artomobilia Judges
Leading the judging team for Artomobilia is David Renshaw. Renshaw is a mechanical engineer by training with an affinity for cars and inclusive events that bring a community together.
“Artomobilia is not a hugely expensive show to enter your car in, and it’s free to the public,” Renshaw said. “With my engineering background, I try to bring some objectivity, as well as the subjectivity, to the judging process. Artomobilia is more of a ‘concourse-style’ show—it is not a deeply technical show. If you were to go to Bloomington Gold Corvette Nationals, for instance, they judge cars based on accuracy and details down to the nuts and bolts. We give it an overall objectivity score based on how original your car appears. I tell our judges that at the end of the day, if you’re struggling between two different cars, pick the one you would want to drive home!”
Renshaw explained that the judges will bump the scores up or down a point or two based on a couple of factors.
“I tell the judges to bump it up if the car is exceptionally clean or bump it down if you see a dent or a tear,” Renshaw said. “We have awarded cars that had some rust that were all original and had never been touched. So, just because your car doesn’t necessarily look like a ‘show’ car, where everything is shiny and new, doesn’t mean that we won’t give it a nudge based on the fact it has been in the family since it was brand new and is 100% all original. Another one of the reasons why I love this show is because I like diverse cars, and [Artomobilia] is the perfect place to see a lot of really nice cars.”