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For Immediate Release (00-70)
Date: December 21, 2000
Contact: Steve Simon, 240-567-7952

Montgomery College-Rockville to Host "My First Wheels,"
An Exhibition of Top Illustrators' Works, Jan. 15-Feb. 23

Rockville, Maryland — Remember your first car? Relive the wows and woes of that first set of wheels, as Montgomery College's Department of Visual Communications Technologies' hosts a special exhibition of works by some of America's leading illustrators. Entitled "My First Wheels," the exhibition runs from January 15-February 23 and will be on display in the Technical Center art gallery of Montgomery College's Rockville Campus, 51 Mannakee Street, Rockville.

The public is invited to attend an opening reception for the exhibition on Wednesday, Jan. 24, from 7-9 p.m.

"My First Wheels" is co-sponsored by the Society of Illustrators and the Illustrators Club of Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia. Curator Murray Tinkelman invited 70 illustrators to create depictions of their first set of wheels and to accompany the art with a brief written memoir. Their subjects range from a $50 clunker that died on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge to a top-of-the-line muscle car that is a collector's item today.

Among the 68 artists represented are two nationally syndicated comic-strip artists Mort Walker of "Beetle Bailey" and Jim Scanarelli of "Gasoline Alley." Local illustrators who participated include Montgomery College instructor and D.C. resident, Martha Vaughn, and Virginia-based illustrators Bill Firestone (former 1951 Austin A40 Devon Saloon driver) and Bobbi "anything that could go wrong, went wrong" Tull.

Vaughn says, "My first car was a 1970, semi-automatic, ugly-as-sin Ford Maverick, but what I remember about it was the freedom it gave me. I soon had a job and was making real money for the first time in my life and had very few responsibilities. I could throw the cooler in the back and head off for the beach at the slightest whim."

Illustrator Lorelle Otis Thomas of Grand Rapids, Michigan, recalls, "When my parents gave me their used car as a graduation present, I sold it and used the money to buy ‘Annie,’ a 1962, one-ton, long-bed Chevy panel truck. She had no radio, no air-condition, no passenger seat, and her maximum speed was 55 mph. But she had room in back for a couple of storage boxes, a mattress, and a Coleman stove, and that was all I thought I needed."

Gallery hours for the "My First Wheels" exhibition — which runs from January 15-February 23 — will be Mondays through Thursdays, from 9 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fridays, from 9 a.m.-3 p.m., and Saturdays, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Private group tours can be arranged in advance. For more information, call 240-567-7535 or 240-567-7521.

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