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Gualala Arts

Promoting public interest and participation in the arts since 1961.

Archive of past events: 2004 through 2014

6th Annual
Gualala Arts Auto Show

Gualala Arts Auto Show 2014
Saturday, July 19, 2014
10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
at the Gualala Arts Center

Best of Show: Bill and ML Reinking's 65 Chevelle

If you are a car enthusiast and love the nostalgia of old cars, the sound and fury of dragsters, the art of hot rods, customs and modifieds, looking at original cars you lusted after in your youth, and/or rare and unusual contemporary automobiles you'll love the Gualala Arts Auto Show. Located on the beautifully landscaped grounds of the Gualala Arts Center, this is a car show you can actually stroll through, talk to the owners and appreciate each car, truck or motorcycle for the piece of art it is. The event celebrates its 6th Anniversary this year and we expect it to be the best Gualala Arts Auto Show yet.

2014 Gualala Arts Auto Show entries
2014 Gualala Arts Auto Show entries

Best of Show in 2013 was awarded to Bill and ML Reinking's 1965 Chevrolet Chevelle. The Terrace Award winners were a 1947 Ford Coupe owned by Ron Bella-Via and a 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air Coupe owned by Larry Marcom. 11 trophies in 11 classes and 15 Judges and Other Awards were presented to the winners among the 61 entries. This year there will be 10 classes plus display only. Entries include the oldies, the very creative and some great new entries you might not have seen. There is even a prize for longest distance traveled as people come from all over California, and even last year from as far as Texas, to enjoy the sparkling ocean drive set off by the majesty of the redwood forests. This Auto Show was extremely well received last year and once again auto buffs will fill Highway 1 for the run to Gualala.

This free to the public show opens Saturday, July 19th at 10:00 a.m. for the public and closes at 4:00 p.m. Continental breakfast will be available for purchase on the Gualala Arts Center grounds from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m., lunch will be available for purchase from 11:00 a.m. to close and beverages (wine, beer, soft) are available all day. The awards ceremony begins at 3:30 p.m.

Brad Wilson band

Music and entertainment goes on all day, with Brad Wilson and the Blues Drivers playing the JAMI Amphitheater and a Bluegrass Jam Session on the picnic area stage. There are People's Choice and Ladies' Choice Awards, so come prepared to be part of selecting the winners of these coveted trophies.

If you have a car, truck or motorcycle that would look good driving up the coast and parked under the redwoods, download the registration form and send it in before July 4. There are many lodging options available in the area, including hotels & inns, campgrounds and vacation rentals.

Featured Artist and Honored Guest Art Himsl

Art Himsl The Gualala Arts 6th Annual Auto Show is proud and pleased to honor the legendary Art Himsl, recognized throughout the hot rod and custom car community as one of the finest painters of his generation, as the featured artist of this year's show. Art has been creating his art on the metal canvases of car bodies for over 40 years, and his work has garnered countless awards and accolades. Now officially retired, but still very much active with several projects including building a 1:12 scale locomotive for his 1.5 acre property in Concord, California - the "Old Himsl House," his aunt and uncle's home where Art's family first stayed in 1949 and that he managed to buy back in the 1990s - Art has seen and been part of the ongoing evolution of unique and special show quality paint jobs applied to hot rods, custom cars, trucks, vans and motorcycles. Not limiting himself to just "rolling canvases," Art has applied his special talents to boats and planes as well.

Art has had success in all of the decades in which he has created his art. One of the highlights of any painter's career would be for the car they painted to be awarded "America's Most Beautiful Roadster" award at the Grand National Roadster Show, which started life in 1950 as the Oakland Roadster Show. Art's wild "Alien" not only won the award in 1969, he made it two in a row with "Andy's T" in 1970. In the late '80s and early '90s, just about every Andy and Roy Brizio graphic job went through Art. He has had relationships with the likes of Bill Reasoner, Richard Zocchi, John D'Agostino, and Mickey Galloway. Art's work and influence has been so significant that Grand National Roadster Show promoter Don Tognotti bestowed Art with the "Builder of the Year" award in 1995.

Art Himsl with Debarnes car

Art's work has also attracted the attention of the rock music world for years, from Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham, who purchased one of his creations, shipped it to England and featured it in the movie "The Song Remains the Same," to Metallica front man James Hetfield with his famous "Skyscraper" 1953 Buick Skylark which has appeared in Rodder's Journal.

It's almost impossible to find a car show photo without at least one Art Himsl paint job in the foreground or background, and they're not too difficult to spot: Hallmarks of his paint jobs include vivid pearlescent colors, flowing ribbons, and 3-D flames that mark Art's work as some of the most creative designs ever created. Often dubbed psychedelic due to the era coinciding with his rise to prominence, Art's creations have always pushed the limits of what is possible with an airbrush and masking tape. His intricate and unique pin striping dazzles no matter which decade he created them in, and his trademark flames have stood the test of time for the last four decades, attracting new fans even today among the Millennial generation while still delighting Baby Boomers, Gen Xers and everyone in between. Art's talent and artistry has truly spanned and survived every generation in which he has produced his masterpieces, and the continued interest in and appreciation of his work validates his position as a true artist and visionary.

Art Himsl with Edelbrock car

After over 40 years of building award-winning show cars and creating his own special interpretation of stripes, flames and graphics on customs, the legendary artist continues to paint on his own terms on projects that entice and excite him. His favorite jobs are anything he hasn't done before, which is a tall order, considering he's painted everything from award winning hot rods to unlimited hydroplanes to to airplanes. Then again, Art approaches every job as being unique. Over the years, his work continues to be recognized by its elegant lines, surreal flame patterns and dramatic use of paint and materials that always showcase Art's boundless imagination.

Art has never become enamored of his body of work or his exalted reputation among the hot rod, custom car and paint community. He continues to be a mentor to aspiring young artists. In keeping with this attitude, Art is quick to assist other painters, saying "I'll help anybody that needs help. It doesn't bother me a bit. I wish somebody would've been there that I could've called." In addition to giving advice over the phone, Art often lends a hand at custom shows, rubbing down a car or helping set up a booth at the last minute. Although he doesn't actually work at the shows, Art can often be found at rod and custom events in Oakland, Portland, Sacramento, Reno and all over Northern California. "I enjoy going to shows because they give me the chance to talk to people I haven't seen in a year," he says. Attending shows also gives him new ideas and reaffirms his belief that the business of custom painting will prosper well into the future. "Before, I thought this whole thing was going to die out. But I go to some of these events and it's not slowing down at all - it's multiplying."

Art Himsl with Zeppelin

Art believes that much of this increasing popularity has to do with the resurgence of retro styles. The majority of his clients fall between the ages of 35 and 60; they are the people who always wanted a hot rod or custom car when they were in school but couldn't afford it. Now, they're settled, the kids are gone, and they've got the money to indulge in one. "Most people I paint for end up being my friends," Art says. I'm fairly selective about the jobs I take, I like to get to know the individual before painting their vehicle. I want to meet the person and talk to them, so I know who they are and what they're about. I pattern the paint to match the person."

Honoring Art Himsl as the featured artist and guest of the Gualala Arts Auto Show continues the show's long tradition of recognizing the pioneers in the art of the automobile in an intimate setting unlike any other auto show that you will ever attend. The show is truly thrilled to feature Art as its honored guest this year, and we hope that all of the participants and guests will share our enthusiasm for Art's work and welcome him to the fabulous Sonoma/Mendocino coast for this unique and wonderful automotive event.

Nitromethane Thunder & Drive In Car Show Friday at Bones Roadhouse

Bones Roadhouse Kick off the Auto Show early at Bones Roadhouse, 39080 Highway 1, on Friday, July 18th starting at 4 p.m. for the Drive In Car Show. Get there early and enjoy food, beer, wine, altered spirits or soft drinks while you check out the dragsters and other great cars, trucks and motorcycles in the parking lot. Enjoy the sights and sounds of Top Fuel dragsters lighting up the night when Nitromethane Thunder roars at 9 p.m. "Bone Daddy" has invited the Moulin Rouge Burlesque Troupe, Fire Dancers, the Bud Girls plus the amazing Dr.Tesla's Lightning Death Coil. Buy raffle tickets from the ladies for a chance to sit in the driver's seat and fire up one of the Nitromethane dragsters (proceeds benefit Meals on Wheels). No charge to attend this great event.

Meet & Greet Drive In Car Show at Jack's Gualala Pharmacy

Jack's Gualala Pharmacy Bring your car to the Meet & Greet Drive In Car Show in the parking lot in front of Jack's Gualala Pharmacy the day before the Gualala Arts Auto Show, Friday, July 18 from 1 p.m. - 4 p.m. and enjoy hot dogs, refreshments, music and have a chance to win some great prizes! All cars are welcome, whether you plan to be in the Auto Show or not - we just want to see your ride. If you decide to enter your car in the Auto Show, registration forms will be available so you can sign up on the spot. Free admission and all types of cars, trucks and motorcycles are welcome!

4th Annual "Summernationals" Pinewood Derby at the Gualala Arts Center

2013 Winternationals Pinewood Derby entrants

Returning in support of the Auto Show for the third year, the "Summernationals" Pinewood Derby will again be run on Gualala Arts' state-of-the-art aluminum racetrack complete with computerized time, speed and results display. Make this part of your Auto Show experience by building your own Pinewood Derby car, and make the competition interesting by having all your family members build one, too! Youth and the young at heart will be able to design and build their very own custom car to race. Racing classifications include 8 and under, 9 to 12, 13 to 18, 18 years and older, Historic (car built prior to 2014 or a previous Gualala Arts Pinewood Derby entry) and a new Unlimited class that offers racers the chance to build a car out of any material they want. There will be both Speed and Most Artistic trophies awarded in each class, and Best Time Overall and Best in Show most artistic awards. All racers will also receive participation medallions. Check in and inspection Saturday, July 19th 10:00 a.m. to 11:15 a.m., races start at 11:30 a.m. Registration forms are available online. Purchase your official Boy Scouts of America car kit either from Gualala Arts, from any Scouts headquarters or online from various websites that offer official kits. It will consist of a block of pine, plastic wheels, metal axles and decals.

6th Annual
Gualala Arts Auto Show

Gualala Arts Center
July, 2014

The 6th annual Gualala Arts Auto Show saw 97 cars, trucks and motorcycles in 10 classes gather under the towering redwoods and a beautiful blue sky at the Gualala Arts Center. Entries were both local and from other towns and cities, and were enjoyed by a huge crowd that wandered through the show all day long.

Best of Show was awarded to the featured artist of the Auto Show, Concord's Art Himsl, for his custom / modified 1958 Chevrolet Yeoman wagon, which also won the inaugural Best Make Out Car award.

The inaugural Jim Grenwelge Terrace Award winners were a 1923 Volksrod Roadster owned and built by previous 2012 Auto Show featured artist Kent Fuller of Santa Rosa and a 1937 Chevrolet Coupe featuring an Art Himsl paint job owned by Gene & Linda Figueiredo of Fort Bragg.

A full list of the trophy winners is below. Gualala Arts plans to hold its 7th Annual Auto Show on Saturday July 18, 2015.

Award Winners

2014 Auto Show Award Winners
2014 Auto Show Award Winners

Art Himsl's 1958 Chevrolet Yeoman won Best of Show, the inaugural Best Make Out Car award and Pirate's Choice award
Art Himsl's 1958 Chevrolet Yeoman won Best of Show, the inaugural Best Make Out Car award and Pirate's Choice award

Merit Herman's 2012 Fisker Karma won the People's Choice award
Merit Herman's 2012 Fisker Karma won the People's Choice award

Kent Fuller's 1923 Volksrod Roadster and Gene & Linda Figueiredo's 1937 Chevrolet Coupe were the inaugural Jim Grenwelge Terrace Award winners
Kent Fuller's 1923 Volksrod Roadster and Gene & Linda Figueiredo's 1937 Chevrolet Coupe were the inaugural Jim Grenwelge Terrace Award winners

Jim Grenwelge presents Kent Fuller with his inaugural Jim Grenwelge Terrace Award
Jim Grenwelge presents Kent Fuller with his inaugural Jim Grenwelge Terrace Award

Jim Grenwelge presents Gene & Linda Figueiredo with their inaugural Jim Grenwelge Terrace Award
Jim Grenwelge presents Gene & Linda Figueiredo with their inaugural Jim Grenwelge Terrace Award

The Gualala Arts Center, located at 46501 Old State Highway in Gualala, CA,
is open weekdays 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and weekends from noon to 4:00 p.m.
Please call (707) 884-1138 for more information, or email

Serving the coastal communities of northern Sonoma & southern Mendocino Counties.