Photorealistic painting of a flying car by Dave Hile

For a while during my final year of undergraduate studies and my first year of graduate school I experimented with Hyper-realistic painting (also known as Photorealism). I had gone to a big exhibit at the Toledo Museum of Art in Toledo, Ohio in 1974 and became fascinated by the artwork of Chuck Close, Richard Estes, Don Eddy and other modern realists. One of my works was a 7 ft x 5 ½ ft oil painting of a 1967 Rambler Classic convertible floating in the sky. I had owned an old rusty ’67 Rambler coup (not the convertible) and thought it would make an interested painting.

After college, when I began my career I hung the painting in my first commercial art studio, and it got a lot of attention. But when I moved into my second studio, I didn’t have any place to hang such a large painting. So in 1989 I donated it to Monroe County Community College where I had begun the first two years of my art education.

Fast forward to the present: now I teach part-time at MCCC. For a year, between my classes, I snooped around campus but could never locate my painting. At one point it was suggested to me that the painting was hanging at the off-campus extension of the college in another town, although a teacher who taught there said she had never seen the big car.

A few months ago, I stumbled into a faculty lounge that was only three offices away from the art classroom where I teach. I had never thought to look in there since that was for full-time faculty and there is a separate lounge for part-time faculty where I occasionally hung out. But there hung the ’67! Because it was in a lounge where people ate their lunch there were a few food and coffee spills on the old car, but all in all it was in pretty good shape for a painting that was 43 years old and located in a very public setting.

That painting brought back a lot of memories and it sure was fun to see it again. It felt like finding an old friend.

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