Germantown artist turns pickup truck into art

Germantown resident Susan Mangan loves art and trucks.

So when she heard about Saturday’s Pickup Truck Expo at the Crane Arts Building in Kensington, she immediately wanted to participate.

“I quickly put together a proposal and called somebody and said, ‘Can I do this to your truck?'” said Mangan.

The one-day event will showcase about a dozen pickup trucks that have been transformed into interactive art installations.

The idea, said co-curator Ryan McCartney, is to offer up a spin on the machismo stereotype that’s often tied to pickups.

“They’re kind of the unsung vehicles of everyone who has to constantly move things,” said McCartney.

Mangan’s entry — “Bucket O’ Bolts” — is part exhibit, part impromptu art-class.

Inside the bed of her neighbors’ navy blue Ford, Mangan will place a series of panels filled with hairpins, nuts and screws.

Other pieces of small hardware and hair wear will dangle from strings affixed to a pair of orange welded frames that hover above the bed.

Most of the items were either found around Mangan’s house or in others’ around neighborhood.

“I like taking found stuff and seeing the patterns and kind of seeing what I can do with it,” said Mangan.

On the day of the event, Mangan will give others the opportunity to do the same.

She’ll provide colorful, fast-drying inks that attendees can roll over parts of the metal collage and swatches of newsprint to press onto those spots for a quick souvenir print.

Other entries include a truck with a trailer featuring a makeshift discount store selling a range of handmade items.

Another truck will be turned into an electrical instrument.

The free event runs from 6 to 10 p.m. inside Crane’s cavernous Icebox Project Space.

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