When Barry MacLean, CEO of MacLean-Fogg, avid art collector, and a member of the Board of Governors for the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, visited the 2012 Student Exhibition, he found one interesting piece to be particularly striking. Annalee Levin, the artist, sought to create a piece that updated traditional American Arts and Crafts with a theme representing modern America. The result was a full scale Ford F-150 pick-up truck front end rendered into a hand-embroidered needlepoint pillow measuring 8′ X 10′ X 2′, certainly not an ordinary pillow by any means. When the artist was asked why she chose the theme of the F-150 as the subject of her work, she indicated that, in her view, “…the F-150 is an iconic symbol of American life.”
Today, the “truck pillow” is on display at the MacLean-Fogg Component Solutions sales headquarters in Rochester Hills, Michigan.
The MacLean-Fogg Component Solutions division of MacLean-Fogg is a leading supplier of fasteners, engineered components and linkage and suspension components for automotive and other industries. For Barry MacLean, the art piece, titled “truck pillow,” was significant not just for its appearance and execution, but for the F-150 theme itself. MacLean-Fogg has been a supplier to Ford Motor Company for over forty years. MacLean-Fogg’s fasteners and engineered components can be found throughout the F-150 vehicle. Levin’s “truck pillow” is now part of Barry MacLean’s personal collection. “This artist could have chosen any theme she wanted to represent modern America. That she chose the F-150 is not only a testament to the importance of the automotive industry, but a tribute to the success of the F-150 and its place in our culture,” MacLean commented.
On October 18th, 2013, the art piece experienced a homecoming of sorts, as it was displayed at the Global Fastener Alliance meeting at the Dearborn Truck Plant at Ford Motor Company’s historic Rouge Complex. The Dearborn Truck Plant has been home to the F-150 since 2004. Regarding the “truck pillow” display at the F-150 factory, Annalee Levin said, “It is exciting to have the piece shown in a context where the audience has such a unique relationship with the subject matter. As an artist working in hand embroidery, I have a great appreciation for the importance of good craftsmanship and taking pride in the act of making and I think these are things that people working in the automotive industry can relate to.” The Vice President of MacLean-Fogg Component Solutions and organizer of the temporary display at the Dearborn Truck Plant said, “We’re pleased to coordinate this homecoming display and share the art work with our GFA partners.” Today, the pillow is on display at the MacLean-Fogg Component Solutions sales headquarters in Rochester Hills, Michigan.
The Global Fastener Alliance (GFA), founded in 1998 as a global network of independent suppliers of engineered, high quality fasteners, consists of eight member companies located in Europe, North and South America and Asia. The GFA members represent a combined sales volume in excess of one billion USD and a total employment of 5,000 people. GFA members include MacLean-Fogg Component Solutions, ATF Inc., EJOT Holding GmbH & Co KG, JINHAP Company Ltd., Lakshmi Precision Screws Ltd., Richard Bergner Verbindungstechnik GmbH & Co KG, Bollhoff Verbindungstechnik GmbH and Metalurgica Fey LTDA. More information can be found at http://www.globalfasteneralliance.com.
The artist, Annalee Levin, has an MFA from the Sculpture Department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, a BA in Studio Art from Macalester College, and a degree in technical hand embroidery from the Royal School of Needlework in England. She currently resides in San Francisco where she continues to make art and is also pursuing a career teaching embroidery for the Royal School of Needlework. Her portfolio can be seen at https://www.annaleelevin.info/.
The Global Fastener Alliance delegates pose with the artwork on display at the Ford Rouge factory