Indiana State University Newsroom

Indianapolis-area artist gifts painting to Indiana State University Motorsports

September 3, 2009

An Indianapolis-area artist, who has depicted on canvas the Indiana State University Team Sycamore Racing dragster, is donating her artwork to the university.

The artist, Kim Watanabe, will unveil her piece titled "Full Throttle Education" at a private reception and ceremony in conjunction with Carmel Artomobilia - a celebration of the art and design of the automobile. The event takes place Sept. 12 from noon to 6 p.m. in the Arts and Design District of Carmel. It is free and open to the public.

The acrylic painting is Watanabe's impressionistic attempt to capture, through an explosion of color, the tension and emotion drivers experience on the track, she said.

"I tried to show the energy of what I think happens in racing," she said. "I wanted to portray ... that terrific burst of energy that happens with the light changes and the take off."

Watanabe, a Michigan native, began her 20-year career as a Hoosier artist after she graduated from Indiana University. She has served as director of Arts Columbus. Watanabe works with pencil, watercolors, acrylics, oils, and mixed media and maintains a working studio near Westfield.

Because the ISU Motorsports Studies program is a co-sponsor of Carmel Artomobilia, the venue presents a perfect opportunity for the unveiling of Watanabe's painting.

Throughout the day, Carmel-area galleries, restaurants and design houses will join collector car owners to present a display of automotive design on wheels and canvas.

The Team Sycamore Racing dragster and the ISU Motorsports Studies Team Apex Formula BMW car will be on display at the event. ISU Motorsports Studies students will serve as judges to help determine which of the many cars on display will earn the students' choice award.

Joyce Young, coordinator of the ISU Motorsports Studies program, sees the involvement of ISU students at the event as a natural extension of their coursework.

"In our Motorsports Management minor, we offer a course ‘History of the Automobile: The First 100 Years,'" she said. "The Artomobilia event literally places many of the historical cars within arm's reach of the students."

Following the Carmel Artomobilia event, Watanabe's painting will be on permanent display in the ISU College of Business. She has also given ISU rights to reproduce the painting, with all proceeds going to support ISU's Motorsports Studies program.

Young says she plans to expand the university's involvement with Artomobilia next year by displaying and selling motorsports-themed artwork created by Indiana State students.

For more information about Carmel Artomobilia, visit the show's Web site at:

For more about ISU's Motorsports Studies program or to inquire about purchasing reprints of Watanabe's work, go to or contact Teresa Stateler at 812-237-2000 or at

Writer: Rachel Wedding McClelland, Indiana State University, assistant director of media relations, at 812-237-3790 or