From left, EyesOn Design Chief Judge Glen Durmisevich and artist Nicolas Rousselet unveil Rousselet’s painting of the McLaren F1, which is being used for the 2024 EyesOn Design poster.

From left, EyesOn Design Chief Judge Glen Durmisevich and artist Nicolas Rousselet unveil Rousselet’s painting of the McLaren F1, which is being used for the 2024 EyesOn Design poster.

Photo by K. Michelle Moran

Poster with famous fast car ramps up excitement for 2024’s EyesOn Design show

By: K. Michelle Moran | Grosse Pointe Times | Published March 6, 2024


GROSSE POINTE SHORES — Capturing speed on a still surface isn’t easy, but that’s what artist Nicolas Rousselet did in his poster for the 2024 EyesOn Design show, which will take place on Father’s Day, June 16, at the Edsel and Eleanor Ford House in Grosse Pointe Shores.

Rousselet, a native of France who now lives in metro Detroit, was tapped to create a poster featuring the McLaren F1, hailed as a remarkable driving vehicle and considered to be the fastest production road car ever made.

“I put a lot of motion and speed into the painting to represent what the car was,” Rousselet said of a vehicle that he captured with his abstract style, using colors and paint splashes to convey movement and feeling.

“We’re always looking for someone who can elicit the character and emotion of the car,” said Glen Durmisevich, chief judge for EyesOn Design. “We wanted somebody who had a more emotive painterly quality. I saw some of Nico’s work and I thought he would be perfect.”

Rousselet’s painting — and the poster that features it — were unveiled during an EyesOn Design event Feb. 13 at the Ford House. The Lifetime Design Achievement Award will be presented to Gordon Murray, the executive chair of Gordon Murray Design and a renowned vehicle designer and engineer whose work includes the McLaren F1.

Durmisevich was wowed by Rousselet’s painting from the moment he first saw it.

“I was amazed (by) just the impact of the finished artwork,” Durmisevich said. “It was just what we were looking for. We think it’s going to be one of our better posters.”

The man behind the McLaren F1 has been held in high regard by the automotive industry for decades. Murray’s alma mater, Durban University of Technology in South Africa, named him an honorary professor in 2002 and gave him an honorary doctorate in 2011. Murray was named a Commander of the Order of the British Empire, or CBE — a ranking just below knighthood/damehood — for his contributions to the automotive world.

EyesOn Design Grand Marshal Tim McGrane — the CEO of the M1 Concourse — said Murray “grew up with a passion for motorsports.” He said the McLaren F1 is “one of the greatest sports cars out there” and felt Murray was a fitting person to honor at this year’s event.

“Gordon’s designs are exceptional,” McGrane said. “I think his lifetime achievement award is well deserved.”

The theme of this year’s show is “Design Masters: A Lifetime of Design Achievement.”

“We are honoring the very best designers — chosen by the designers themselves — throughout the history of the auto industry,” said Glenn Abbott, chair of the EyesOn Design Vehicle Selection Committee.

Highlights will include a 1919 car designed by a young Harley Earl for the silent movie star Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle, the Plymouth XNR concept car designed by Virgil Exner and a Chrysler Diablo convertible that Abbott said Exner’s wife used to drive in the Grosse Pointes. Abbott said it should be “one of the most spectacular fields of cars” that can be seen anywhere.

“We have a good time putting it together,” Durmisevich said of EyesOn Design. “And the best thing is, it benefits a great charity.”

The EyesOn Design car show and related events are fundraisers for the nonprofit Detroit Institute of Ophthalmology, which is based in Grosse Pointe Park and provides programs and services for blind and visually impaired individuals in the region. The DIO is also the research arm of Henry Ford Health.

In addition, EyesOn Design is a critical fundraiser for the DIO’s biennial research congresses — The Eye and the Chip, about artificial vision, and The Eye, the Brain and the Auto — which take place on alternate years. The congresses have been taking place for more than 20 years. Bringing these international researchers together has enabled them to share their findings and collaborate, something that has led to important breakthroughs and findings.

“EyesOn Design is a lot more than a really great car show,” said Dr. David Goldman, director of the DIO and a senior staff ophthalmologist with Henry Ford Health. “It’s an opportunity to advance medicine to find a cure for blindness.”