‘Art’ of auto design puts sculpted work on display

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Cars of tomorrow today
Photo by James Mitchell
Student Linda Dzurka (left) answers visitor questions about her clay concept car on display at “Art in Action,” Thursday’s preview of work by prospective sculptors from the Michigan Institute of Automotive Design and Sculpting.

By JAMES MITCHELL
Sunday Times Newspapers

SOUTHGATE — A glimpse at the future of auto design was seen last week in the showroom of Michigan Vehicle Solutions, 16600 Fort St.

Visitors enjoyed snacks, the sounds of jazz and the sights of clay sculptures as would-be designers put their talent on the table.

Thursday’s “Art in Action preview, hosted by the Downriver Council for the Arts, introduced visitors to the next generation of auto designers — students from the Michigan Institute of Automotive Design and Sculpting who have studied their prospective trade at MVS. DCA Executive Director Tammy Trudelle said the event — which included wine, appetizers and live entertainment courtesy of Wyandotte Roosevelt High School Jazz Ensemble — offered a blend of art and industry.

Guests included Mayor Joseph Kuspa, who said that for the students the course and exhibitions could be a life-changing opportunity.

“It’s like a job interview,” Kuspa said, and Thursday’s preview was the dress rehearsal for Tuesday’s review of the work by auto industry recruiters.

Aaron Bunch, a General Motors Corp. designer who was among the volunteer instructors, said the classroom work could provide the students a chance to join the estimated 3,500 clay sculptors currently at work throughout the world who carve auto concepts into three-dimensional presentation art.

“It makes me feel good when they get jobs,” Bunch said.

Instructor Randall Mills said it’s more than a way to make a living.

“It’s not a job, it’s a career,” Mills said. Recruiters from Ford Motor Co., GM, Chrysler Group LLC and other companies will be
on hand, as will the talent trained at MVS.

MVS owner Rich Oliver — who opened the facility in Southgate
last year — said he plans to continue providing space for the course, recruiting volunteer instructors from the auto companies and help pave the way for prospective sculptors to shape the future of auto design.

(James Mitchell can be reached at jmitchell@bewickpublications.com.)

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