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Route 66 News

Artist who works in miniature gets part of his inspiration from Route 66

An Albuquerque artist who makes exacting miniature models of buildings and vehicles from the past acknowledged old Route 66 gives him some of his inspiration.

In a profile in the Albuquerque Journal about Tim Prythero, one section of the story focuses on one of his works — an old, grimy gas station:

A decaying Conoco gas station features dust-caked mullioned windows, crooked Venetian blinds, a rusted oil can and an old tire leaning against a fading wall. Prythero says he might add a minuscule Valvoline or Penzoil sign to the diminutive diorama.

“I remember going out on the old 66 highway and seeing these old gas stations,” he said. “I just thought they had a lot more character than a modern gas station.”

Prythero’s art recalls the works of the late Willem Bor of the Netherlands, a Route 66 enthusiast who died a few months ago from cancer. Prythero’s artwork, however, seems more fascinated with decay. And according to his bio, he’s been doing it since the early 1980s.

Prythero uses resin, metal, plastic and wood to create his works. He paints them with an airbrush or a fine brush. He says he gets his works based from his own photographs, plus books and signs from fire sales and eBay auctions.

He took one art class in high school and a few at the University of New Mexico. The age of abstract expressionism didn’t suit him well.

“They said I put too much detail in,” he told the Journal. “I said, ‘That’s what I do.’ ”

His works now are in several museums in New Mexico. Several were displayed at last year’s well-received “Route 66: Radiance, Rust and Revival on the Mother Road” multimedia show at the Albuquerque Museum of Art and History.

Route 66 fans probably will see a few familiar-looking pieces in the urban street scenes section of his website.

Prythero is working on an intricate miniature of the historic KiMo Theatre along Route 66 in Albuquerque. It sports miniature movie posters from the 1940s and will include LED lighting.

From Saturday through May 29, Weems Galleries and Framing in Louisiana Plaza at 7200 Montgomery Blvd. NE, Suite D, in Albuquerque (map here) is hosting a show of Prythero’s work. It’s about four miles north of Central Avenue (aka Route 66).

(Image of Tim Prythero’s work via Facebook)

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