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It’s been almost a year since artist Bill Neale passed away, after a long, productive life filled with family and punctuated with friends. And there are few better ways of remembering Bill than an award – presented by the Texas Auto Writers – recognizing automotive art and the artists creating it. In this, its inaugural year, the Neale family have supported the initiative, helped judge the entrants and recognized what appears to be a very deserving winner, Austin-based Shan Fannin. If he were here, I’m sure Bill would appreciate Shan’s talent, and be all about her subject. As are we. 

The TAWA press release, written by TAWA board member Amy Plemons is below. DB


Tuesday, January 11, 2022 1:03 PM Amy Plemons (Administrator)

January 11, 2022 – The Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) in association with the Bill Neale family is pleased to announce the winner of the inaugural 2021 Bill Neale Automotive Fine Art Award Invitational. The award, open to both TAWA and non-TAWA members, honors the world-renowned talent and legacy of automotive artistic icon Bill Neale. The 2021 Bill Neale Automotive Fine Art Award award goes to Austin, Texas-based realist vehicle painter Shan Fannin, for her entry titled“1932 Ford Highboy Roadster.” 

Photo Used with Permission from Shan Fannin.

“The Texas Auto Writers Association is honored to celebrate the legacy of Bill Neale while highlighting the power and beauty of automotive art in the inaugural year of the Bill Neale Automotive Fine Art Award Invitational.  Thank you to all of the entrants, and congratulations to this year’s outstanding winner,” said TAWA President Teia Collier.

“The Neale Family is pleased to award the inaugural TAWA Bill Neale Automotive Fine Art Award to Shan Fannin for her painting, ‘1932 Ford Highboy Roadster’”, said judge Leslie Neale. “Her bold close-up style, bright colors and unique use of reflections create the emotion true car enthusiasts feel for their rides.  It was our father’s passion to further automotive fine art as a legitimate form in the art world and we believe Shan Fannin’s work and her winning painting carries on that mission.”

Fannin’s winning artwork stems from a photograph of a 1932 Ford Highboy Roadster. The original car owner is car collector/seller Charles Herman. 

“To have my painting receive this award means more to me than you know. At six years in my profession, I am a relative newcomer to the automotive fine art industry. I regret never having the chance to meet Bill, and wish I could have gotten his feedback on my work,” said Shan Fannin. “It would have been a thrill to learn from him personally. He was truly one of a kind, and is dearly missed. I am so grateful to follow in Bill’s footsteps. He was one of the finest  automotive artists this world has ever known.”

TAWA and the Bill Neale family wish to thank all entrants for their interest and participation in the award. TAWA also thanks the Bill Neale family for its support in developing and launching this prestigious award and collectively we look forward to launching the 2022 competition later this year.

To learn more about Bill Neale visit the Bill Neale Automotive Fine Art Award page:

Boldt, a contributor to outlets such as, Kelley Blue Book and Autoblog, brings to his laptop some forty years of experience in automotive retail, journalism and public relations. He is a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, The Washington Automotive Press Association and L.A.'s Motor Press Guild. David is the Managing Editor of txGarage, a regular panelist on the AutoNetwork Reports webcast/podcast, and the automotive contributor to Dallas' Katy Trail Weekly.

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