Thomas Kinkade Named Centennial Era Artist

Monday, February 09, 2009

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Centennial Gala

Thomas Kinkade, renowned artist known as The Painter of Light, has been named the featured artist for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Centennial Era, a three-year celebration that kicks off with the Centennial Era Gala this month.

To capture the excitement, color and thrill of the Speedway on canvas, the artist will create a new Studio Masterwork, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, 100th Anniversary (working title), that will become the cover for the collectible 2009 Indianapolis 500 Program. The new Studio Masterwork will be unveiled Feb. 27 at the Centennial Era Gala, for which Kinkade also has created the original artwork for the program cover.

"We're thrilled that Thomas Kinkade is capturing the moments of our Centennial Era through his beautiful art," said Joie Chitwood, IMS president and chief operating officer. "As The Painter of Light, Thomas' work is known and loved worldwide. The themes that inspire his work - family, tradition and community - are a perfect match for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as we celebrate this important time in our history."

Kinkade's Centennial Studio Masterworks image is being kept under wraps until its unveiling as part of the kickoff of the three-year series of events. Described as a celebration on canvas, it will span the 100 years of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway's history.

"Imagine an image that details the running of the Indy 500 - but incorporates the cars from the past through today!" Kinkade said. "It will include the magnificence of the famous Pagoda, the historical significance of the Brickyard - and of course the city of Indianapolis in the distance. What the Hulman-George family envisioned when it purchased the Speedway in 1945 through all of the changes - right up to today - will be commemorated in this special piece of artwork. It is a historical encapsulation - celebrating the icons of America's first and still its most prestigious raceway."

In addition to the Masterwork, Kinkade has created a colorful and exuberant Impressionist work for the Centennial Era Gala program cover. Capturing all the excitement of Indy at a moment in time as cars flash by the stands, American flags flying on a perfect Memorial Day weekend of blue skies and fluffy clouds, it is the perfect expression of the thrill of racing that millions of fans will find easily identifiable.

Established in 1909, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway has long prevailed as an icon of motorsports excellence. Beginning in 2009, the Speedway celebrates its Centennial Era, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the facility in 2009 and the 100th anniversary of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race in 2011.

Celebrating his 25th anniversary as a published artist in 2009, Kinkade is today's most widely collected living artist. He is known around the world for his tranquil, light-infused paintings that affirm the basic values of family, faith and the beauty of nature.

Kinkade has received numerous accolades for his works on and off the canvas, including multiple National Association of Limited Edition Dealers (NALED) awards for Artist of the Year, Graphic Artist of the Year, and nine awards for Lithograph of the Year. He has commemorated a number of important milestones in American heritage, including the Salt Lake City 2002 Olympic Winter Games, Disneyland's 50th Anniversary, the 85th Farewell Season of Yankee Stadium, Graceland's 50th Anniversary and others. He is also involved in a number of nonprofit organizations focusing on children, humanitarian relief and the arts.

The Thomas Kinkade Company publishes the work of Thomas Kinkade and distributes his art and related collectibles through independently owned galleries worldwide, an extensive network of branded and licensed dealers, and strategic marketing relationships with more than 70 licensees. The company's primary products are canvas and paper reproductions that feature Mr. Kinkade's artistic unique use of light and his peaceful and inspiring themes. Mr. Kinkade, known as "The Painter of Light," is the most successful and most collected living artist in U.S. history.

For more information, please visit the company's Web site at www.thomaskinkade.com.

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2009 IMS tickets: Individual tickets for the three events in 2009 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway - the 93rd Indianapolis 500, 16th Allstate 400 at the Brickyard and second Red Bull Indianapolis GP - can be ordered online at www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com at any time.

Tickets for groups of 20 or more also are on sale. Contact the IMS Group Sales Department at (866) 221-8775 for more information.