Club Happenings – Summer 2016: Hopewell Valley Vineyards, BMW Artwork


By John Gyorfy

On June 18th, the NJ Chapter held an club meeting at the Hopewell Valley Vineyards to sample some of the winery’s products and learn more about local artist Thom Montanari and his automobile-inspired artwork.

The focus of Thom Montanari’s work on automotive subject matter evolved naturally – it is his life-long passion for cars and racing that drives his creativity. His passion got an early start while attending the local antique car show in his Dad’s Model B pickup as a young boy.

After graduating from the Paier College of Art in Hamden, CT his career in Illustration began as a sketch artist in New York City, after which he decided to go free lance. He has been published and exhibited with The Society of Illustrators in New York, and his illustrations and paintings hang in corporate collections and the galleries of private collectors throughout the United States and Europe. He has also been the featured artist at the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix for 1998 and 1999 and was selected to paint the event poster for the 1999 Castle Hill Concours d’Elegance. Most recently Universal Studios contracted him to produce a limited edition lithograph based on Ralf Schumacher, Juan Pablo Montoya and the BMW/Williams Formula One Team released in 2001.

Thom paints with acrylics in a classically realistic style which compliments his outstanding designs. “Although our memories are nebulous, my paintings capture a perfect crystallized moment in time. I dream in color, so naturally the color theories that are applied in my paintings are pre-established, like moves in a game of chess so to speak. Whether conceptual or narrative, I strive to capture the true essence of my subject matter in one compelling image.” Born and raised in Connecticut, Thom now makes his home and studio in Hopewell, New Jersey. He’s an avid fan who loves to attend races and calls Lime Rock his home away from home.

Thom’s corporate client list includes Sony, Kodak, Duracell, STP, QuakerState, Miller Beer, Pirelli, Universal Studios, Roundel Magazine, Old Cars Weekly, Vintage Racecar Journal, Ford, Audi, Saab, Volkswagen, Chrysler, BMW, Skip Barber Racing School, Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix, Castle Hill Concours d’Elegance, among others.

Thom carefully gave all NJ BMW CCA attendees a full review of his work with BMW and beyond. He also displayed many of his important works of art and gave us a peek into the future of applying his talents. We all had the chance not only to hear and discuss automobile artwork in detail but also to sample some of the fine wine at this estate.

Related Articles - Club Happenings