Ormond artist is the first commissioned for Daytona's Public Art Car Exhibit project
Angel Lowden was commissioned to paint a Jeep donated by Jeep Beach. It's on display at the Hard Rock Hotel now.
| 1:30 p.m. April 25, 2022
Ormond Beach Observer
Art installations aren't uncommon in many cities around the U.S., and Theresa Lieberman thought it was about time Daytona Beach, not only had its own, but one that drew inspiration from the area's history of cars and racing.
Lieberman, the executive director of Riverfront Arts District and founder of Imagine Daytona, said the city is focusing on art initiatives as a way to boost economic impact, and she thought it a Public Art Car Exhibit project — also referred to as the PACE project — would be a great way to have local artists play a part in bringing in visitors and activating the community.
"It's the start of an art coalition between One Daytona, the downtown Daytona Beach area, the Ormond Beach Arts District and Holly Hill," said Lieberman, who is also the vice president of the Ormond Beach Arts District.
And the first art installation? A Jeep, painted by Ormond Beach artist Angel Lowden and unveiled during the Daytona Beach Arts Fest on April 9. It was donated by Jeep Beach after Liberman approached its Executive Director Charlene Greer, who loved the idea.
"Jeep Beach supports our community in many ways but we are very passionate about providing creative opportunities for the children in our community so partnering with the PACE Project to expand the efforts of bringing the arts to our kids and our community was an easy decision," said Greer in a supplied quote.
Drawing inspiration from Jeep Beach's Jiki Tiki mascot, Lowden spent about 20 hours over the span of two weeks working on the Jeep, which is not drivable. As an artist who works a lot with UV paint, she added that element to to the art installation as well.
"It's only seen if you shine a UV light on it, so it's got a little bit of a secret within it, which is kind of cool — that was able to have the freedom to be a little creative, outside the box, on that one," she said.
Her art style and Jeep Beach's theme — with Jiki Tiki featured prominently on the hood of the Jeep — went well together, she said. She never imagined she'd get the opportunity to paint an entire car, and added that she feels honored to have been chosen as the first artist for the PACE project.
"It was a really cool experience and I really had a lot of fun with it," Lowden said.
After it was unveiled, the Jeep remained displayed at the corner of the International Speedway Boulevard Bridge and Beach Street in Downtown Daytona Beach until Sunday, April 24, where it was moved to the Hard Rock Hotel Daytona Beach for the start of Jeep Beach festivities. Jeep Beach runs through Sunday, May 1. After that, it will be moved to One Daytona for Art Battle Daytona Beach on May 6.
Knowing that the city of Daytona Beach supports the project is signifcant and will have an impact, Lieberman said.
"They've allowed us to put the Jeep on the bridge, which is very unusual," she said. "They've never allowed that, so that in itself had an impact, and then the partnership with Jeep Beach helping us with raising the funds and providing the Jeep — that was such a surprise, because we thought that it was going to be a long-haul to get this project off the ground and it actually happened fairly quickly."
What's next for the PACE project? Lieberman said they are working on getting a stock car to be painted to join the exhibit. They are raising funds to get the car from North Carolina and to commission an artist.
"We want to make local artists the stars," she said.