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Start Your Engines: World-renowned artist Jeff Koons drives into center of York’s art community

World-famous pop artist and York County native Jeff Koons is seen with his design concept (background) and a BMW M3 GT2 in New York. Koons will use the car as his canvas, part of the prestigious 17th BMW Art Car series. Koons will be in his home county today to receive an award as part of the Governor’s Awards for the Arts. Also of interest: On same night in different venues, celebs Ed Kowalczyk, Jonah Lehrer delight York crowds and Cameron Mitchell, Craig Sheffer, Dixie Chick born here and York, Pa.’s, Strand and Capitol theaters have played host to silent movies and loud applause

In the same week that Gov. Ed Rendell will celebrate renowned pop artist Jeff Koons at the Strand-Capitol Performing Arts Center, Koons also received recognition that his art concept would be applied to the BMW Art Car.
The car will race at Le Mans.
If there was any doubt about Koons’ standing among world-class artists, the fact that Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein have previously participated in the Art Car series should erase that.
The New Yorker also put Koons in league with Warhol in its Jan. 11, 2010 edition… .

Here is a close-up of the Art Car design by Jeff Koons, a former Dover-area resident.
In a long piece about Warhol, writer Louis Menard discussed Warhol’s celebrity portrait work of the late 1960s. About 10 years later, he was making $1 million-$2 million a year on those portraits.
“He announced that he had embarked on a new kind of art, ‘business art,’ ” Menard wrote. “This is the Warhol from whom figures like Jeff Koons and Damien Hirst are descended.”
That’s lofty company for the still-young man from Dover who purchased his mother’s grandfather’s farm in southeastern York County and is restoring the houses, barns and grounds there.
A York Daily Record/Sunday News story from 2007 states that Koons can be seen around York, having breakfast at Central Market and a YorkArts’ “Chalk It Up” event at the West Manchester Mall
“There was nothing more surreal than seeing Jeff Koons at the West Manchester Mall,” a York arts community spokesman said. “It’s one of those things where a lot of people around here still don’t know who he is.”
They would if he drove up in the Koons-designed BMW Art Car.
Also of interest
Here are other celebs from York who have gained prominence on the national arts and entertainment stage:
– Pop artist Jeff Koons.
– Actor Craig Sheffer.
– Country music’s The Dixie Chicks (or at least the two members with local ties).
– Bluegrass artist Del McCoury.
– Oscar-winning costume designer Ann Roth.
– Screen writer Laurice Elehwany.
– The voice of “Law and Order” Steve Zirnkilton.
– Playwright Ken Ludwig.
– Author Rita Mae Brown.
The Drifters Charlie Thomas.

U.S. Mint artist/engraver Don Everhart..
Composer Dominick Argento.
– Rocker Ed Kowalczyk.
– Best-selling author Jonah Lehrer.
Photos courtesy of the Associated Press.