Milwaukee, Wis. – (Feb. 21, 2019) — Doug Gotham has been commissioned by The Masterpiece Ltd., board of directors, to create an original piece of art for the 2019 event program. “A professional landscape architect with a passion for cars, Doug brings a unique style and vibrancy to his work. We are celebrating the 15th anniversary of the Milwaukee Concours d’Elegance in 2019 and are excited to partner with Doug to create a spectacular 2019 program cover,” said Mike O’Krongly, president – The Masterpiece Ltd.
A resident of the Chicago suburb of Lombard, Ill., Doug’s family roots are in Wisconsin, where his father and grandfather were born and raised. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin – Madison where he earned a B.S.in landscape architecture with a minor in fine arts.
“I studied art in high school and into college and participated in local and regional shows. I was doing mostly landscapes back then with acrylics,” Doug said.
“In your college years you look at your future and think about potential income. You realize you can’t do much on an artist’s income, so I looked at what I could do creatively while earning a decent living. I fell into landscape architecture. I have enjoyed the creativity and precision that it requires,” he said. Most of his work has been in municipal design, including streetscapes and parks. “That’s gratifying to be able to see your work in public. You want to see people enjoy it.”
He sees the car culture as art, too. “Whether classics or hot rods, people are appreciating a three-dimensional piece of art. Some drive them and enjoy them. Others may preserve their cars and drive them rarely,” he said. Either way, the hobby is exciting to him and he enjoys documenting it.
He knows about the passion of car collecting. “When I was in high school, my brother bought a 1968 Mustang. Six years later, he got assigned to Germany for his job. He offered the car to me. I was in high school and drove the Mustang in my senior year of high school and through college as well as my first two years of employment. Then I parked it. In the back of my mind I remembered thinking that this ’68 was a nice classic design.”
Keeping the Mustang made sense. “As a landscape architect, you understand the environmental aspects of your work. It made no sense to get rid of the Mustang for something new because I didn’t see the same classic design elements in the newer cars of the ‘80s and ‘90s.”
He kept the Mustang and still has it today. It has led an interesting life thus far. “My son and I, with the help of some others, restored it in 2005. My son took ownership of the Mustang in 2006 and drove it through his college days and then to Los Angeles for his first job. When he was transferred out of the country, he gave it back to me,” Doug said.
Doug’s current preferred art medium is colored pencil and that is what he will use to create the 2019 program cover art. The original piece will be auctioned at the 2019 Style & Speed Social, on Saturday, Aug. 3.
“Colored pencil can be more precise than acrylics, watercolors or oils,” he said. “Being employed full time, I can walk away from a piece and come back and pick up where I left off. With the other media, it is harder to stop and start again,” he said.
With fewer demands of his personal time now that his children are grown, he has been drawing on a regular basis for the past several years. “I started to focus on things that interested me and that primarily has been cars,” he said.
Doug is no stranger to the Milwaukee Concours d’Elegance, which takes place on the shore of Lake Michigan in Milwaukee’s beautiful Veterans Park. He has attended the show several times as well as other concours d’elegance gatherings in the Midwest. “For my own pleasure I’ve taken photos of cars at these shows. I use the photographed car as the inspiration for an original work of art,” he said.
Gotham’s art will appear on the cover of the full-color, 80+ page program which will feature all the vehicles that are part of the judged Milwaukee Concours as well as related editorial content. The program is included in the price of admission for the first 2,500 show attendees. The 2019 Milwaukee Concours d’Elegance, presented by The Masterpiece Ltd., will take place Aug. 3-4, in Milwaukee. On Saturday, Aug. 3, events include the Motor Tour featuring cars that will be on the show field on Sunday, seminars with car-collecting experts, and the Style & Speed Social. On Sunday, Aug. 4, the judged Milwaukee Concours d’Elegance and the casual car show, the Show & Glow Paddock, will unfold in Veterans Park on the lakefront.
Since its inception 15 years ago, The Masterpiece Ltd., a non-profit organization, has donated more than $350,000 to local charities. The Masterpiece Ltd., host of the Milwaukee Concours d’Elegance, is organized and operated exclusively to support other public charities including but not limited to those operating in southeastern Wisconsin which provide medical and social service care and relief to underprivileged children and families through various motor vehicle-related fundraising events. Learn more about the Milwaukee Concours d’Elegance at MilwaukeeConcours.com.