Artists Explore our Troubled Relationship with the Automobile

How many people are killed in car accidents each year in the U.S.?  How many wounded?
a)40,000 killed, 3 million wounded
b)20,000 killed, 1 million wounded
c)30,000 killed, 2 million wounded

How many cars are junked each year in the United States?
a) 1 million
b) 5 million
c)11 million

How many animals are killed each day on U.S. roads?
a) 10,000 – 50,000
b) 100,000-250,000
c) 400,000-1,000,000


Artist and curator Jeff Mann poses these questions to gallery visitors in the latest exhibition at the Harlow Gallery in Hallowell.  On view through June “Cars: Image & Substance”, is an artistic exploration of our personal and societal relationship with the automobile.   Come view this thought-provoking exhibition and learn the answers to the questions listed above.

Cars: Image & Substance features work by artists Seaver Leslie of Wiscassett, Jeff Mann of Arrowsic, Matt O’Donnell of Wiscassett and Lori Rae Palumbo of Portland.  The exhibition also includes photographic work by members of the Capitol Area Camera Club.

“Until the mid-sixties, our love affair with the car was largely unblemished. Since then we have experienced the powerful images of: snaking lines of cars at gas stations during the oil embargoes of the seventies and eighties, burning Pintos, miles of backed up cars during the Houston “evacuation”, the suffering of the car-less in New Orleans and computerized models of global warming. We see images of auto-induced sprawl consuming land. Even as we continue to drive more, commute further and pay more for our car (this former luxury which now is a necessity), there is a growing debate about the wisdom of our transportation choices. Is the car the symbol of our freedom? Is it the key to our economic future or the catalyst of its collapse? Is it time to divorce ourselves from the great American automobile? This show will explore Maine artists’ responses to the conundrum of the car.” Jeff Mann, Curator & Metal Sculptor