Turning Vehicles into Art
Racine Artist Bill Reid to Design
RAM on the Road's Artful Exterior
The Racine Art Museum is excited to announce that nationally recognized Racine artist Bill Reid is designing RAM on the Road's artful exterior. RAM is reaching out to its local Racine community by taking art on the road. RAM on the Road, also known as Wustum on Wheels, is a vehicle covered with art, loaded with art supplies and set to bring the joy of creating art to kids and adults of all ages.
Known for his metal sculptures of whimsical creatures, Reid is creating colorful paintings of artistic animals that represent the hands-on art experiences the automobile will bring to the community. "We are thrilled that RAM has been able to commission Reid to create the fanciful, highly imaginative exterior for the RAM on the Road vehicle," says Executive Director and Curator of Collections Bruce W. Pepich.
Turning vehicles into art is not an entirely new concept for this artist. In 2007, RAM presented the exhibition, Inside RAM: Bill Reid's "Wheels" featuring other vehicles Reid has created, ranging from sculptural pedal cars to modified, street legal automobiles. This installation included a full-sized customized car designed specifically for the Racine Art Museum. The resulting Bee Bomb is a bulbous bumblebee automobile complete with big, buggy eyes and yellow flowers.
Unlike many Wisconsin artists who attribute their interest in natural subject matter to their state university education, Reid credits his parents who were very active in environmental and conservancy issues. Reid's animals also express his love of cartoons and comics, whether found on television or in magazines like The New Yorker. His fresh, ingenuous approach to sculpture is often attributed to his enduring interest in folk art, which began while he was a student at Michigan's Cranbrook Academy of Art. There, Reid was strongly influenced by the folk art collection of sculptor-in-residence Michael Hall and his then-wife Julie. Hall's collection now resides at the Milwaukee Art Museum.
The RAM on the Road Reveal will take place at RAM's Wustum Museum on Sunday, May 8 at 3:00 pm during the free opening reception of this year's Racine Unified Student Art Exhibition. Visitors are invited to view Bill Reid's newest artful vehicle, commissioned by the Racine Art Museum. Then, on Friday, May 13, RAM on the Road will make its maiden voyage downtown for Kids Day at RAM. From 3:00 to 6:30 pm, families will discover an afternoon filled with art activities, stories, and gallery games at the museum. This event is free for children under 12 years, when accompanied by an adult paying regular $5 museum admission. As usual, RAM members are free.
RAM on the Road is funded by gifts from people who love Racine and believe in its future.