Seeing Red: The Eye-Opening Art of Donna Deppi

Reader Contribution by Landon Hall
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Photo Courtesy of Donna Deppi

Visitors to the Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum will have the opportunity to view classic bikes from a new perspective when the photography exhibit “Red Bikes” opens on July 24, 2008. The installation will feature nine large photographic prints by artist and motorcycle aficionado Dawn Deppi, each vividly capturing the powerful sculptural beauty of the machines. Deppi, who chose to photograph only vibrantly red motorcycles for the exhibit, is an accomplished artist whose work has appeared in numerous galleries and national publications.

The opening of “Red Bikes” will immediately precede the grand opening of the new exhibit “Awesome-Ness.” “Awesome-Ness” will chronicle the career of legendary motorcycle designer and builder Arlen Ness. Featuring 11 of Ness’ remarkable custom motorcycles, the exhibit also delves into the stories that fueled his influential career. Ness will personally join prominent colleagues and friends at the Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum in Pickerington, Ohio, on July 24 to dedicate the exhibit.

“Red Bikes” and “Awesome-Ness” both showcase the intersection of art and motorcycling. “Ness’ groundbreaking designs shaped the custom-bike movement in America,” said Mark Mederski, executive director of the Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum. “Many of his motorcycles can be viewed as functioning sculptures.” The images of the “Red Bikes” exhibit allow visitors to appreciate, in glorious detail, the elements that come together to create a classic motorcycle. “The photography of Dawn Deppi captures the unique beauty of a well-designed motorcycle,” noted Mederski. “It is the ideal complement to the artistry of Arlen Ness.”

In the course of her career, Deppi has trained her lens on a variety of subjects, ranging from landscapes to classic cars. “My goal as a photographer is to look at common objects from an innovative angle,” said Deppi. “I think the prints featured in ‘Red Bikes’ achieve this and capture the passion of motorcycling.” It was Deppi’s passion for photography that led her to open her own studio in 1996. The business, “Eye of the Beholder, Inc.,” continues to grow at a rapid pace today.

Opening Ceremonies Star Arlen Ness“Awesome-Ness” and “Red Bikes” open at the Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum in Pickerington, Ohio, on July 24, 2008. Opening day highlights include a 5 p.m. dedication ceremony for “Red Bikes,” featuring Dawn Deppi. At 6 p.m., Arlen Ness and friends will debut the “Awesome-Ness” exhibit following a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Both events are open to the public. While at the Museum, visitors will also be able to enjoy the all-new “MotoStars: Celebrities + Motorcycles” exhibit, which celebrates its grand opening June 27 – 28, 2008. Scheduled to precede AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days, July 25-27, at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio, the openings of “Awesome-Ness” and “Red Bikes” are the perfect beginning to star-studded weekend featuring motorcycling heritage and history. For more information, visit for more information.

Motorcycle Classics Magazine
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