By: Jacob Hawthorne
Gallery: Schmidt Fine Art Gallery
If you’re a Midwesterner like the photographer of this image, the Southwest Missouri-native Kelli Lowe, then you should also be well-acquainted with the burdensome task of shovelling mountainous piles of damp snow that were delivered seemingly overnight. Walking into the dark winter morning with shovel and brush in hand, there is something bittersweet in disturbing the milky, smooth blanket lying peacefully on the earth. The ground crunches and squeaks with each step that brings you closer to the snowy mound formerly known as your car. After spending time and a lot of effort digging through feet upon feet of thick snow, you feel a sense of accomplishment as you climb into your vehicle, like unearthing an old fossil. Now just cross your fingers that your engine isn’t frozen.
Often the topic most sung about in country songs and spoken of as a dear companion, the truck is regarded as a man’s second best friend, falling only behind our canine companions on that friendship scale. Over its long life, a deep bond often arises between a truck and their driver, and when that relationship feels as real as it gets, it is nearly impossible to posthumously dispose of your beloved truck. The truck values function over form, and it aids and abets the purpose of the working man; and after its years of service, the truck is left to retire, slowly eroded by time and eaten away by the unforgiving elements.
Lowe’s affinity for vehicles started at a young age, as her family ran an auto glass business while she was growing up. Lowe often references her experience working on cars and driving semis as the reason for her inclination for driving, which has since come full-circle in her life as she currently travels across the United States as a truck driver with her fiancé. Lowe finds that she is constantly inspired by the picturesque scenes they pass by each day, and she craves the opportunity to put them on canvas and print.
The image captured in Midwest Snow Covered Truck by Lowe reveals to me a truly heartbreaking story, painting a funeral scene for a departed and buried friend. One can almost imagine the farmer at the truck’s eulogy: “This is in loving memory of Bessy. Bessy was a good truck, always ready for a long ride. She was loved by all that knew her. Who doesn’t remember that one winter day while Bessy was hauling a cart of hay up the frozen slope back to the farm? We all thought Bessy wouldn’t make it, but Bessy defied all odds and climbed triumphantly to the top. A real fighter, through and through. She was part of the family, and we honor her memory by leaving her outside the garage to watch over us in perpetuity. Amen, brother.”
Uncovering a vintage pickup truck from its snowy depths immediately brings the audience to the time and place where it was seemingly cryogenically frozen, like unearthing a preserved wooly mammoth from a block of ice. This antique pickup truck now sits lifeless outside of a barn, awaiting the chance at new life, or possibly living out the rest of its days before heading to the scrap heap. By now, whatever company the vehicle came from, whether it was a Ford, Chevy or Dodge, no longer lays claim, with the logo and hood ornament long gone, eroded by time.
Old muscle cars and Italian exotics were always forecasted to be the classics, being hand-crafted for racing and feats of engineering prowess. Shockingly, now in this era of constant ingenuity, the old pickup truck is beginning to join the ranks of desirable vintage cars. Pickup trucks were never made to have the glitz and glamour of the typical classics such as the Ford Mustang, the Cadillac Eldorado, and the Ferrari Testarossa. The pickup trucks of old were produced with the sole purpose of towing and transporting. They were built to support the common working man with their daily tasks, whether moving construction workers and materials for homes or buildings, carrying vast amounts of produce or livestock for farmers and ranchers, or even aiding the urban worker in whatever gig they needed to accomplish. The point is, the pickup trucks of old were meant to work until they broke, nothing glamorous about it.
Buyers in the old truck market aren’t nearly as concerned with the “collectability” of trucks as they would be in the markets for muscle cars or Italian exotics. There are no trucks that have glorious racing heritages or iconic scenes in America’s cultural history; think the Dukes of Hazzard. Additionally, trucks are rarely advertised as cool or hip for the new generation of car buyers and they lack the uniqueness and flashiness of other classics. The few exceptions being the performance-oriented pickups like the Ford F-150 Lightning and Dodge’s Viper V-10 powered Ram SRT-10.
Whether you are an aspiring photographer or an art collector in search of inspiring works to fill your canvas or your home, Schmidt Fine Art Gallery is here to service you. We are a gallery for the artist by the artist. Our mission is to serve as the place for artists to simply sell art, without the overburdening of promotion, marketing and running a start-up business. We are committed to producing high-quality, museum grade products and timeless works of art in digital print, framed canvas, and everything that can be enjoyed for generations to come.
Midwest Snow Covered Truck by Lowe is available in all sizes and formats. All our Ready to hang art includes Free Shipping. You can pick your own frame and finish on this piece in our customization shop.
Schmidt Gallery was founded by Kurt Schmidt with the vision to establish a photo-centric gallery in the heart of Montgomery county, Texas. Although it is all run online at the moment, Schmidt Gallery has dreams of opening up a brick and mortar gallery in The Woodlands just north of Houston. Schmidt Fine Art Gallery was founded in March 2020 as a startup funded by All ARK LLC.