American Automobile

Where and When

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Sunday, November 11.
10:00 am to 2:00 pm

Event Details

Location: Bernard Friedman 1955 designed Saltzman Building

2901 East Broadway Boulevard

Tucson, Arizona 85716   

The American Automobile, two designers, two stories.


Dave Cummins & Jim Ewen



Meet & Greet the artists: 11:00am (arrive as early as 10:00am to view the artwork in advance)

All Tucson-area ART STUDENTS (high school/college/trade schools) plus their instructors and parents are invited to attend a special “Gallery Presentation plus Student Q&A Discussion.” This is your opportunity to talk to the designers about their careers and experiences, various art techniques and “tricks of the trade” secrets! No cost to attend.

You may be eligible to earn extra school credit by attending the event. Ask your instructor.

For more information on this lecture/event, contact Thom Sherwood, (520) 798-3200.

The works of Dave Cummins and Jim Ewen have rarely been seen by the general public and are presented as a conversation and exhibition followed by a reception.

Typical of the Modernism Era, automotive design studio ideas and proposals would range from rough sketches to complete-and-formal illustrations prepared for presentation to upper management for brain-storming sessions and discussion of future automotive models and themes. The renderings vary from small notebook-size doodles done in pencil or ink, to much larger full-color "wallpaper" illustrations done in colored pencil, marker, watercolor, or other painted mediums.

Jim Ewen graduated from The Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles and began his career at General Motors in Detroit soon after in 1957. He worked on MOTORAMA show cars under the guidance of GM's VP of Styling, Harley Earl, during this period, then advanced to Research Studio where the futuristic "Firebird Cars of Tomorrow" were envisioned.  Ewen was promoted to Pontiac Studio with Jack Humbert, where he worked on the early Tempest and GTO models, the first Grand Prix, and many other successful models through the mid-1960s.

Ewen then became the Assistant Studio Head with responsibility of all Canadian models. He moved to the International Studio and was then sent to GM of South Africa as Director of Design.  Ewen later returned to the States in the mid-1970s to head-up GM's Transportation Studio where all forms of public transportation, mass transit, automated highway systems, and even housing communities were studied.

Ewen is now retired and living in Tucson, where he keeps a set of Prisma color pencils sharpened for an occasional freelance project. 

Dave Cummins graduated from The Art Center of College of Design in Los Angeles with a major in Industrial Design and Transportation in 1957. Soon afterwards, he moved to Detroit to begin work at Chrysler Corporation Styling which was helmed by the legendary Virgil Exner. 

Korean War draft duties interrupted Cummins's fledgling career almost immediately with a brief stint in the US Army's Signal Corps.

Once re-introduced to civilian life in 1959, Cummins anxiously returned to Chrysler Styling where, for the next 30 years, he rotated through nearly every design studio — both interior and exterior —at Plymouth, Dodge, Dodge Truck, DeSoto, Chrysler, and the Imperial divisions.

Cummins illustrious career with Chrysler included 18 years as Chief Designer where he would manage all aspects of one or two studios simultaneously.

Now semi-retired and living in Tucson, Dave continues to serve as a freelance Design & Automotive Styling Consultant to clients restoring or creating new coachwork for vintage high performance sports cars while pursuing his hobby of miniature scale automobile collecting and building.