( Above - The Flying Beetle at Lincoln Center, NY )

can now only be seen in virtual reality, resting on the crest of a grassy knoll, at the edge of woods in the back of the Stone Museum.

 Log on to the VAL website


(Wings by Christopher MacKinnon )

Chris' hubcap from the hubcap wall


The Story behind the "Hub-With Magnetic Connections" and the "Flying Beetle"

The Stone Museum is "home" to both these art adventures, projects of the Visual Arts League (VAL)

It began once upon a time on Harts Lane, East Brunswick with East Brunswick Foreign Auto Sales and Repair. The owner, Atilla Soltez, invited artists to come up with a design for the fence skirting his property. As encouragement and inspiration, Atilla placed a Volkswagen beetle (which he had sliced in half, the front half) in front of the fence. (This beetle has been in the movies!!! Atilla does not remember which movie.

We thought what a great idea! We will use what is on the other side of the fence as elements in the mural, an assemblage. We began by doing two things which diverged into separate projects.

The first was that we photographed the cut in half Beetle and extracted the color with Photoshop, turning it into a coloring book line drawing.


The very first e mailed beetle came from

Esther Schloshberg, an art teacher at McKinley School, New Brunswick.

We made 300 black and white copies and passed them out randomly and to 4 New Jersey schools, Joyce Kilmer School, Milltown; Hammarskjöld School in East Brunswick,  and McKinley School in New Brunswick and also a school in Metuchen with the teacher Lynn Lerner. We got back 267 colorings, and not all by children. The VW Beetle had stimulated the growth of "The Traveling Magnetic Show".  For the next two years all the colorings were turned into magnetic pieces and rode around on the fire engine red VaLVan, surprising people at traffic lights and curves in the road.

We had a contract with the Cork Gallery, Lincoln Center to bring the Hubcap show. The show would not be complete without the whole story, so we spent the months leading up to the show collecting discarded refrigerator doors of all kinds.

You can see the refrigerator doors & magnetic beetles when they made a second visit, this time to Quietude Sculpture Gardens, Fern Rd. East Brunswick.

on the web site by clicking on Quietude Sculpture Gardens

Secondly, we began with hubcaps. Atilla supplied many of them, but artists found their own too. We began scouring roadsides. Dents and rust were a plus. 45 hubcaps were delivered to sixth grade classes at McKinley school, New Brunswick. Teacher, Esther Schloshberg finished the hubcaps by Thanksgiving ‘98.

Dahron Dickerson
Karenda Taylor
Michelle Pittman
Jasmine Brown
Hadisha Gordon
Maximo Miranda
Elyse Washington
Michael Gorrell
Latoya Landfair
Jannette Alexander
Kianna Cromedy
La Toya Pearson
Stanley Shields
Forest Van Liew
Willie Boswell
Hector Bruno
Daira Peralta
Jerry Freeman
Graciela Reyes
Pedro Rodriquez
Miquel Serrano
Sergio Suarez
Adam Summers
La Shawna Shields

 By then, the fence mural had taken a turn away from hubcaps and if you scroll down to the bottom of this page and click the link you can see what ultimately went on the fence with the flying beetle in place..

The background design for the hubcap show developed thru a design which came as an attached image via e mail from artist Sheila Barrera, (Gulf Coast, Florida)


Over 160 hubcaps have come from all over. The youngest person to do a hubcap is four years old, and the oldest is 93 (Sister Annie Forest, Canada.) Hubcaps have come from Paris, France; Caracas, Venezuela; Lake Charles, Louisiana; Virginia and local neighboring towns, Princeton, Edison, Hillsborough, Summit, Highland Park, South River, Metuchen, New Brunswick, and East Brunswick.

Little Bobby Duncan

The hubcap reads along the edge "Keep that one good eye on the road"

The Hub-With Magnetic Connections visited the Cork Gallery, Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center December ‘98. It went on to visit the University of Medicine and Dentistry in Piscataway, NJ where it merged with another show and became UMD-500.

 It even visited the Seafood Festival in Atlantic City June 1999.

Three weeks before the New York show, word went out thru the Internet inviting web artists to participate internationally. Virtual hubcaps began to roll in. The hubcaps, both real and virtual have melded perfectly in a line up in cyberspace, one behind the other.

On the ValWeb site we have set up a framework to come together and create and nurture ideas.

We create history together, fluidly bouncing from one person to another, leaping boundaries of all kinds.


and what now? The 64 ft wide Train Mural is in the hallway downstairs at the New Brunswick Train Station. On the opposite wall is a 30 ft long laminated hubcap mural composed of a random selection of both previous and new hubcaps begun in 1998 with schools and random others. The newest hubcaps have come from The Voyagers Learning Center, Holmdel, NJ and New Covenant Christian Academy, Plainfield, NJ. what we would like to do, is what can be seen here in the picture on the long wall over the ticket area at the New Brunswick Train Station. These are either simple color copies or adhesive decals. Fast, cheap. simple..easily put up and no mess taking down.

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