( 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
(Wings by Christopher MacKinnon )
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
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
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.
La Toya Pearson
Forest Van Liew
La Shawna Shields
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
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.
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
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
We create history together, fluidly
bouncing from one person to another, leaping boundaries of all