Community,Our People | July 18 2017

Making A Difference in the Community with Art

The creation of an all-new vehicle, to put it simply, begins with a simple stroke of a pen on a piece of paper by a talented artist with vision and direction. Those not in the automotive industry may not think of automotive design as an art, but it is. The women and men behind the creation of a vehicle have studied at the country’s best art, fashion and industrial design schools. As the head of design for FCA Global, I am surrounded and impressed by these talented men and women who sketch, sculpt and design some of the most impressive vehicles on the road today.

While they create cars, trucks and SUVs during the day, their creativity does not cease once they leave the building. In their spare time, these talented people like to sculpt, sketch, photograph and film objects to hone their skill and cultivate their creativity.  Many are passionate about the automobile, thus it is often their inspiration and subject of their art.

A few years back we began to showcase their artwork on the walls of the Product Design Office. Each day I am inspired by their talent and it makes walking to a meeting much more enjoyable. When others within FCA started to see this work, they were complimentary and wanted to know how they could have something so unique in their offices, homes and garages.

With all this positive feedback, we thought this might be a great fundraising opportunity to benefit  United Way for Southeastern Michigan. This group believes that a good quality of life can be achieved when people are educated, financially stable and healthy. They know that when people thrive, they can build and sustain a vibrant community.

So, we called upon our design team and asked them to create automotive-themed works of art that could be sold to employees, with the proceeds going to United Way. We were overwhelmed with the enthusiastic response from our team and the works of art they contributed. In the last two years, the FCA design team has created nearly 60 custom art pieces raising $24,000 for the Southeast Michigan community.

This year’s artwork consists of original sketches and renderings that led to a final design of a vehicle; digital paintings of new and historical vehicles; and 3D representation of the FCA brands. New to the program, the art auction will expand beyond employees to include our dealer network. The proceeds from this year’s auctions will benefit United Way’s College and Career Pathways focus area which provides high school students with the opportunities and connections needed to pursue higher education or a career after graduation.

We are proud of the talented designers and artists that work at FCA. While this art is not for sale to the public, we hope that you take a moment to visit our FCA Instagram page this week to see the wonderful work that has been submitted this year for our United Way fundraising efforts.

Ralph Gilles

Ralph Gilles is Head of Design – FCA Global. He joined the company in 1992 as a designer. It's an understatement to say he loves cars. In his spare time he likes to be at the track, many times driving his own Dodge Viper SRT. You'll also find him at
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Ralph Gilles is Head of Design – FCA Global. He joined the company in 1992 as a designer. It's an understatement to say he loves cars. In his spare time he likes to be at the track, many times driving his own Dodge Viper SRT. You'll also find him at car shows. Ralph has served as a judge at events such as the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance and EyesOn Design.