You worked hard this year to prepare for the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, didn’t you? Your Sunday best is steamed, and pressed. Shoes shined, and the spiders shaken out of your boater hat. Your favorite watch is wound, your mid-century roadster is detailed to perfection, and your envelope of event passes is as thick as a book. Here’s something you might have missed—make sure you clear some wall (or desk) space. After all, you’ll have to make a visit to the annual Automotive Fine Arts Society exhibit, located right off the 18th hole.
For the past 30 years, members of the exclusive AFAS host an expansive pop-up gallery parallel to the concours, offering attendees a chance to enjoy automotive beauty on a smaller, more interpretive scale. Hundreds of works go on display, ranging from dynamic and streamlined sculptures to impressionist paintings depicting legendary racers in action. If you went last year, don’t worry about seeing the same stuff–participants are required to exhibit at least three never-shown pieces.
According to AFAS Secretary Treasurer Jay Koka, its role as a debut show is a huge part of the appeal. “This is a new works show, that’s crucial,” Koka said in an interview. “We want someone who saw work at St. Johns [concours] last month to see new stuff from the same guy at Pebble.”
A large portion of the attending artists are existing members of AFAS, but the annual show is the best chance to join the crew for those interested in joining. During the year, AFAS fields applications from artists, allowing a handful to strut their stuff at the Pebble Beach show. Out of twenty applicants, seven new artists made the cut, coming from all corners of the globe. Three are from Japan, two from the U.S., one from France, and one from Germany.
Monterey Car Week is hectic, but thankfully, it’s hard to not find time for AFAS. The show takes place in a large tent parallel to the Pebble Beach Concours on Sunday, August 26, so you’ve got no excuses not to stop by.