'Full Throttle' car art exhibit debuts

Steve Herrera, Union College alumnus, grew up around cars. His father was an auto mechanic and, naturally, one of the first things he began drawing were cars—race cars, classics and street rods. The first pieces of art he sold in fifth grade were of cars.

“Drawing came way before I ever started computer design,” Herrera said. “All I had was paper and a pencil, but that’s all you need to make art.”

After graduating from Union in 2004, Herrera started serving as a substitute art teacher for Lincoln Public Schools. At Everett Elementary School, he met Bright Tete, an energetic, artistic fourth grader. Then at Lincoln High School, he met Gonzalo Rodriguez Casarrubias, a senior in the English Language Learners program. Their interest in cars connected them, and Herrera invited the students to exhibit their work in a combined exhibit, “Full Throttle” in Union College’s McClelland Art Gallery.

“When I was young, I didn’t have a chance to put my stuff up in a gallery,” Herrera said. “I hope this opportunity encourages them to consider art as a career or at least make it something they enjoy for the rest of their lives.”

The exhibit opens with a reception on Jan. 24 at 7:30 p.m. and will run through Feb. 14.

The McClelland Art Gallery is in the Ortner Center on the Union College campus, 3800 S. 48th Street. Enter the campus from Prescott Avenue. The art gallery is free to the public and open daily from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. For more information, contact the Ortner Center at 402.486.2545.