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A visit to the National Corvette Museum (NCM) will feature nearly every ‘Vette you could imagine. That said, you might not expect a stop at the world’s preeminent Corvette location to be an artistic experience. However, the Luster Exhibit is turning the NCM into a perception-challenging venue for modern art and motor-driven masterpieces. 

The Luster Exhibit features realistic art at the National Corvette Museum

Realistic art isn’t exceedingly rare. Visit any realistic art gallery or hyperrealist exhibit and you’ll be treated to perception-challenging work blurring the line between reality and methodically-executed artwork. What is a rare thing, however, is a piece of art that has you tilting your head to make sense of how a human being could capture chrome work with brush strokes. Such is the case with the Luster Exhibit at the Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky, a temporary exhibit featuring over 50 works from nearly 15 tenured realists and hyperrealists.

One of the first things visitors will note is Cheryl Kelley’s mind-blowing representation of a 1965 Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray. Appropriately titled “Blue Corvette,” the oil painting captures the likeness of the classic C2 ‘Vette enough to demand a closer look. It’s uncanny, really. A closer inspection reveals texture in the vehicle’s paintwork, an undoubted challenge to capture in a painting.

The Luster Exhibit for realistic and hyperrealistic art at the NCM.
The Luster Exhibit at the NCM | Erik Sherman, MotorBiscuit

Moreover, the National Corvette Museum was excited to host A.D. Cook, whose work hangs on multiple surfaces in the exhibit. Fans of the cult classic “Easy Rider” can spend minutes in front of Cook’s “America.” The painting depicts a Captain America-style custom motorcycle with eye-popping chrome work.

A.D. Cook's 'Momentum' realistic art at the National Corvette Museum.
‘Momentum’ at the Luster Exhibit | A.D. Cook, photo by Erik Sherman, MotorBiscuit

Of course, Cook seemed the most excited to debut his two-part realistic art display, “Momentum.” “Momentum” showcases two Corvettes, a C1 and C8 next to one another with a rippling American flag in the background. It’s a love letter to the Corvette model characterizing the evolution of the iconic nameplate. 

'Alfa 8Cs' at the National Corvette Museum.
‘Alfa 8Cs’ | Richard Lewis, photo by Erik Sherman, MotorBiscuit

What’s more, artist Richard Lewis has a “fraternal series” on display at the Luster Exhibit. Inspired by Lewis’ twin boys, each piece in his fraternal works incorporates vehicles of the same model. For instance, Lewis has a piece on display called “Alfa 8Cs,” wherein an Alfa Romeo reflects, you guessed it, another Alfa Romeo with astonishing realism.

Of course, these are just a few of the realistic art and hyperrealist pieces on display in the Luster Exhibit. From classic motorcycles to America’s sweetheart sports car, each artist has a unique approach to challenging viewers. Better yet, the exhibit features some of the subject cars. For instance, the NCM is hosting a 1937 Cord 812 on loan from the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automotive Museum. In addition to the Cord, the exhibit has artworks accompanying a 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air, a 1941 Indian Sport Scout, and, naturally, a 1958 Chevrolet Corvette (C1). Check out some of the work below!