Reception showcases auto sculptors and their designs

Photo by Evelyn Cairns
Randy Dellert of Southgate (left) and Aaron Bunch, his instructor at the Michigan Institute of Automotive Design and Sculpting, display Dellert’s Aston Martin concept sculpture at a reception hosted May 8 by Michigan Vehicle Solutions. The reception, a fundraiser for the Downriver Council for the Arts, showcased sculptures of concept cars created by students graduating from the institute and tours of the MVS facility in Southgate.

A reception May 8 at Michigan Vehicle Solutions showcased the skills of graduating students of the Michigan Institute of Automotive Design and Sculpting and raised funds for the Downriver Council for the Arts.

The institute is housed in a building adjacent to MVS’s spacious Southgate facility, a former Saturn dealership.

On display at the reception were three-dimensional concept cars created by model sculptors including Randy Dellert of Southgate and Brandon Barnard and Shawn Dornoff, both of Wyandotte.

The cars remained on display through May 13, when automotive designers from Ford Motor Co., General Motors Corp., Fiat Chrysler and other automotive firms were scheduled to visit the exhibit.

Institute instructor Aaron Bunch, who established MIADS with Randy Mills, also an instructor, said the modelers were hopeful that they would be considered for employment by the firms.

The curriculum at the institute was designed to best prepare the students for career placement, Bunch said, adding that in the last 24 months, MIADS has helped 25 of 28 students gain permanent employment in the automotive industry.

Bunch said he himself was inspired to pursue an automotive career when he was 15 years old and went on a field trip with his Southgate Anderson High School class to tour American Sunroof Corp., founded by the late Heinz C. Prechter.

“I applied for a job at ASC, and although turned down several times, I kept pestering them until I was hired,” he said.

Bunch continued his education at the College for Creative Studies Detroit, where he studied sculpting.

“Art in Action” was the theme of the reception, which included wine, music by the Theodore Roosevelt Jazz Ensemble of Wyandotte and food by Crystal Gardens.

Guests were invited to tour the educational, customization, fabrication, painting and testing complex of MVS, which was established after 25 years of planning and work by MVS president Richard Oliver and his team.

On display were examples of MVS customized vehicles, classic vehicle restorations, conversions, and Autorama entries.

Downriver Council for the Arts executive director Tammy Trudelle and Southgate Mayor Joseph Kuspa, a DCA board member, addressed the gathering of auto enthusiasts and supporters of the arts.

The event raised more than $1,500 for DCA programs.

Civil War event set
Greenfield Village visitors will have an opportunity to experience the Civil War the weekend of May 24 as Union and Confederate re-enactors and historic presenters in period costumes share their knowledge about the conflict that cost the lives of 750,000 people.

The “Civil War Remembrance” program marks the sesquicentennial of 1864, the turning point and final year of the war.

Military camps will be set up for the occasion, and hands-on activities will be available, along with historical exhibits and music.

A special concert by Tim Eriksen and The Trio de Pumpkintown will be presented at 7 p.m. May 24 in Greenfield Village on the Green. Eriksen is known for his startling interpretations of old ballads and gospel and love songs.

There is no charge for the program or concert with the purchase of admission to Greenfield Village: $24, adults; $22, seniors; and $17.50, youths. Children 4 and younger are admitted free.

Play auditions are scheduled
The Downriver Youth Performing Arts Center will conduct auditions for “Twelve Angry Jurors” and the classic Abbott and Costello “Who’s on First?” routine, from 2 to 5 p.m. May 18 and 6 to 8:30 p.m. May 19 at the Trenton Village Theatre, 2447 W. Jefferson.

A parents’ night meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. May 21.

Male and female roles will be available, along with student production-staff positions. One of the jurors will be required to speak with an eastern-European accent, and some will wear bald caps.

Those planning to audition should be prepared to do short reads, a DYPAC spokesman said. Performances will take place Aug. 7 to 9.