The Many Faces of "God" on Display at Whimsical Art Car Museum Exhibition

Leave it to the art car crowd to have a lot of irreverent fun with an open-call show titled God. While a few artists did what bordered on the obvious or banal (no, really, some woman took up valuable wall space with an old oval wall mirror with the words "God Is You" in pink lipstick smeared on it), for the most part this was a playful, thoughtful examination of deity that packed the museum for a couple of hours.

Of course, an un-juried open call show puts all ranges of talent in the same room. There was actually one room that was referred to as "the shit room" or "the shit wall" by onlookers several times over the course of the evening. And for the most part, I had to agree. Still, it is a tribute to the skills of the staff that the 125-piece show, which they had only a week to place/hang, looked remarkably well organized and thought out.

Overall, it was hard to tell the famous artists -- and there were more than a few accomplished folks -- from the not-so-famous. Ed Wilson's prominently placed steel sculpture "God Dog: The Amazing Test of Faith," a steel circle with the letters G-O-D attached that rotated to spell D-O-G when the disc was spun, was a crowd-pleaser.

So was an installation cleverly titled "It's For You" by collaborators Pen Morrison and Stefan Stout. It consisted of a white cloud dipping down from the roof (a wire frame to which upholstery ticking was fastened) and a white telephone receiver which hung from the cloud. It drew traffic all night as people took the call from God and heard music playing (when I picked up the phone, it was Bob Dylan singing "Just Like A Woman.") Both children and adults seemed thrilled with the piece.

Our two favorite metal sculptures were Mark Bradford's clever rotating stainless steel, brass, and copper piece titled "Dancing With the Devil" and Ben Hoyt's "God's World," with the world represented by a large steel ball bearing sitting atop long steel-rod legs that were attached to gears at floor level.

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William Michael Smith