Monday, January 29, 2024

American Graffiti Tribute Art by Elise Durenberger, 2023

2023 was a wonderful year for a car show. Happy people, shiny cars out and about in the fair town of Petaluma, Ca.  From sun up to sun down, the Cruisin' the Boulevard's Salute to American Graffiti was full of smiles and lovely energy. It's something to experience if you can make it out to our show, the second part of May, each year.  

Here's my blurb about this piece as it appeared in the Petaluma History Museum last May - Sept., 2023:

The latest, 50th year movie anniversary, Cruisin’ the Boulevard painting is our grand tribute to the late Bo Hopkins, his unforgettable bad-boy with a possible heart of gold persona in “Joe” the leader of the Pharaohs, and the brilliantly illuminated scene depicting Curt (Richard Dreyfuss) staring deeply into the storefront full of televisions situated on Kentucky Street, circa 1973 (when the movie was filmed). We were working on this concept prior to the loss of Bo, but the scene took on new importance once we learned that we would not have him there to preside over this theme. At the suggestion of the board, the Curt/TV scene was central, but the artist was then tasked with filling in the rest of the story. When Elise learned that building at 147-149 Kentucky Street had once been the opera house, designed by Brainerd Jones, she enthusiastically dug deeper into historical photos where she finally figured out the mystery of the red-light-cast during much of that scene as the Pharaohs convince Curt to “take a ride.” She discovered that there was a rotating neon sign that read “WILSON’S” and “FURNITURE” on opposing sides. Visible in a reflection of the parked car where Curt’s “butt had been parked,” you can see the sign rotating in real time in quick moments of footage, although the sign as a whole does not appear in the shot. Her quest for the deepest minutia of historical detail keeps our artist invigorated and returning year after year with new material.

“Take a Ride with the Pharaohs” by Elise A. Durenberger ©2023Original, Acrylic on Canvas 24 x 30”  $4,000.00         

*For purchase information, please contact me:

7 years of American Graffiti Art on display at the Petaluma History Museum, 2023


That first hour of the wee-morning when we set up for the day

Kentucky Street at dawn is a glorious treat for the eyes

Looking upwards on Western Ave. is such a lovely and historic view


My cute mom and me 

Customer-ready in the booth!

A darling customer and me posing with her new artwork and "the best seat in town!"

 The American Graffiti Car Show hosted by Cruisin' the Boulevard, Inc., is a grand time. 

Here's hoping you can join us, May 16th, 17th & 18th, 2024! 

Happy Motoring

1 comment:

Carol L said...

Your beautiful art work takes me back to the best days of my life. Cruising was everything in years past with all those fabulous old cars. I'm so happy to see your success in the art world Elise, congratulations! You've come a long way from card making!