Asheer Akram, an artist and sculptor of Pakistani descent, was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma in 1984. He and a group of artists and artisans from Kansas City, Missouri have started the “Pakistani Cargo Truck Initiative” – which is formatted around the visual aesthetic of the cargo trucks of Pakistan and the ideas that surround their intended purposes.
“We are building a cargo truck in the traditional Pakistani-style with a Midwest twist and a new function.” Says Akram. “For this project we have selected a 1952 Chevrolet grain truck as a shell. This style of truck is distinctly American and has been a long-standing staple in the farming industry of the Midwest. We will be tasking Midwest fine artists and artisans with taking the basic format of the traditional Pakistani cargo truck and breeding it with an American aesthetic to create a completely original, functional and culturally mixed final product. The truck will be displayed as a piece of fine art and used as a tool for social and cultural enrichment. We intend to travel this truck from one coast to the other bringing a visual aesthetic not seen by the majority of the population, to teach sculptural workshops and bring awareness to people of the importance of cultural enrichment and understanding.” Akram said.
Asheer’s team is made up of local Kansas City artists as well as others from around the country. Some of his team members include local ceramicists (Kansas City is considered to be the “Mecca” of ceramic tile and paneling in the United States), Brock Deboer & Linda Lighton. The Truck will be painted by locals Chris Foxworth and Lauren Travers.
Bill Heineken will be making the truck bling, with custom spinners for the wheels. “You heard right, it wouldn’t be Midwest meets Mideast without SPINNERS. Heineken is a genius with laser production metal fabrication and has worked with architects and artists alike.” Says Akram.
The truck’s exterior woodwork will be created by Jorge Calvo. Local Kansas City glass artist Kathy Bernard will create stained-glass like elements for the top of the cab and cargo bed. The Truck will be carrying some cargo of a compact printing press which will be built by local artist and printmaker, Jesse McAfee.
“The visual component of these vehicles [Pakistani Cargo Trucks] create a hierarchical system of value and class; the more ornate and beautiful the truck is, the more valuable the goods they will be carrying.” Says Akram.
They have started a “Kickstarter” campaign to help raise the $30,000 needed to make this project a reality. The Deadline for fund raising is May 5th. Check out the link here for more information: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/56345699/pakistani-cargo-truck-initiative?ref=live