Thunder Road will once again be home to the annual Custom Motorcycle Art Exhibition during Sturgis Bike Week 2008. Under the direction of Michael Lichter, and with the blessing of the late Johnny Chop’s family, this year’s exhibition, titled “Stay Gold,” is being held to honor Johnny Chop and will feature builders who approach their work with the same passion that Johnny demonstrated in each bike he built throughout his short life. This passion radiated from Johnny’s being and was enthusiastically expressed on his knuckles, which were tattooed with the eight letters – S-T-A-Y-G-O-L-D – that became the exhibition’s namesake.
Some of this year’s custom bike builders are widely known and some are hardly known, but they all share one thing, a passion that draws them into their garages over and over again. To participate in the “Stay Gold” exhibition, the builders must be living their passion of building custom motorcycles or making art about them, but they cannot earn a living off their endeavors. Some make their livings doing service work in bike shops, while others support themselves as tattoo artists, contractors or within the confines of a straight 9 to 5 job. Among the more then twenty bike builders participating are: Ben Jordan, Bill Steele, Jeff Decker, Kutty Noteboom, Michael Pugliese, Nik Pew, Skeeter Todd, Steve English, Tattoo John Surprenant and Tom Foster. Some of the artists included in the show are Anthony “Scout” Underwood, Armando Salbana, Cole Foster, Jeff Cochran, Jeff Decker, Nik Pew Seth Liebowitz and Tattoo John Suprenant.
“Stay Gold” will be on display in Thunder Road’s Thunderdome from August 1 through August 8, and operating hours will be from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. Admission to the Thunderdome is $5, but there is free parking and Glencoe Gold campers get in free. Thunder Road is located 3 miles east of Sturgis on Highway 34, For additional information, please visit Thunder Road and Lichter Photo (painting Seth Leibowitz)