The large parking lot at the Marco Island Center for the Arts on Winterberry Drive was a real hotspot this week, with a huge Wine Tasting and Auction Thursday, March 31 followed by the popular Cars as Art car show the following Saturday. As the classic cars started rolling in Saturday morning, one would never have known that workers were hard at it till late Friday afternoon disassembling the two large tents that hosted the wine auction crowd.
Hyla Crane, the affable Executive Director of the Art Center had to get tough as she could see the tent crew was falling behind schedule Friday afternoon.
“I told them that we were closing the art center at 4:00 PM and they needed to have everything done by then,” Crane said. She stuck to her guns, and by 4:00 PM everything was miraculously finished, ready for the car show Saturday morning.
When Island Automotive’s Alyssa Baumer, the organizer of Cars as Art, took over the parking lot Saturday morning at 7:00 AM everything was perfect. A couple of hours later – with a couple of miles worth of steps registered on her fitness app – Baumer had the empty parking lot looking like an artist’s canvas decorated with 55 classic cars. Cars as Art indeed!
Cars as Art 3
“I started this morning with 47 cars,” Alyssa Baumer said, “it’s always nice to have some extra cars show up. All car registrations and spectator entrance fees are donated directly to the Marco Island Center for the Arts. It’s usually a fairly large donation for them. Island Automotive helps sponsor it and promotes it and gets all of the registrations done.”
Baumer visits local car shows looking for cars for future Marco shows.
“Most of the Marco cars stay on the island,” Baumer said. “We’re always trying to reach out to Naples.”
Baumer enjoys seeing the classic cars touring the island.
“About 75 percent of the cars here you’ll see occasionally riding around the island,” she said. “Some more so than others. Weather is the only thing that would stop someone from driving around the island. Because classic cars like the speed of the island. You have to be careful in Naples because of the traffic. The year-round residents, we’ll see them out driving their classic cars around at least once a week or more. They tell me they go out for a joy ride, a cup of coffee or a trip to the beach. drive them daily.”