6th ANNUAL VICTORIA ART CAR PARADE
DATE: Saturday, April 15, 2017
WHAT: Art Car Parade & Exhibit and Jam Fest 2017
TIME: Parade Starts: 11:30am
Jam Fest 11:30am-10pm
WHERE: Parade & Jam Fest: Downtown Victoria Courthouse Square
Art Car Show & Exhibit: Five Points Museum of Contemporary Art
1201 North Moody, Victoria
On Saturday, April 15th, starting at 11:30am Downtown Victoria will come alive with one of the most fascinating displays of art in the country - the 6th Annual Victoria Art Car Parade presented by the Five Points Museum of Contemporary Art! For the 6th year these mechanical art pieces will kick off the festivities beginning with the parade of the Art Cars with Jam Fest 2017 continuing until 10pm. This spectacular parade features creative and almost magical moving works of art created by some of the nation’s most talented artists.
The more than 50 art cars and low riders on exhibit will display a variety of painting and sculptural techniques, including welding and metal craft, gluing and assemblage, and collage. Art cars scheduled to appear include “Faith” by David Best, “Rex Rabbit” by Larry Fuente and exquisitely detailed lowriders by the Leal Brothers from Corpus Christi. All of the art cars have won top honors at the Orange Show Houston Art Car Parade and several can be found on display at various times at Five Points Museum.
From April 15 through June 30, 2017, Five Points Museum of Contemporary Art will be exhibiting Art Cars and companion works created by legendary artists in the medium, and photography documenting the history of automobiles as an art form in Texas and beyond. In addition, students from local schools participating in the Manhattan Art Program (MAP) will have miniature sculptures on display. There will also be kids’ craft areas hosted by MAP and refreshments. This is a FREE family event and parade and continues until 4pm!
Ann Harithas, founder of the Five Points Museum of Contemporary Art, has been a judge at the annual Orange Show Houston Art Car Parade for over 25 years and is also founder of the Art Car Museum in Houston. For the 2017 Victoria Art Car Parade, Harithas has organized award-winning art cars from noted car artists for display both at Jam Fest 2017 downtown, and on North Moody Street. After the parade some art cars will park and be on display at Jam Fest 2017 where visitors can take a closer look at these masterpieces. There will be more Art Cars proceeding directly to the Five Points Museum at Moody and North Street for the museum exhibition opening.
HISTORY OF THE ART CAR
What was it exactly that led to the growth of the art car world? Look at it like a twining together of several influences: late 1960s hippie-themed VWs and the lowriders. Singer Janis Joplin owned a psychedelically-painted Porsche 356 and John Lennon, a paisley Rolls Royce. The late 1960s/early 1970s counterculture featured many painted VW Buses (sometimes with a peace symbol in place of the giant VW logo) and other customized vehicles, such as a Cadillac Fleetwood.
Artist Larry Fuente was among the first to take motorized appliqué to the limit with his “Mad Cad.” Later, artists Jackie Harris and David Best contributed their works to the art car world. An art car community began to cohere in the 1990s, inspired by movies and books with a wide underground following. The only real way to get an idea of what is out there is to simply hit the road or attend an art car event.
Remember the well-known Oscar Mayer Wienie Wagon, a/k/a the Wienermobile? This is a bus-sized vehicle styled to appear as a hot dog on a bun. Commercial use of art cars became popular in the 20th century and continues to grow. The art car culture was once strongest throughout Texas and the Southeast but can now be found throughout the world, most recently in Europe with the European arm of Avis Rent-a-Car supporting the movement.
Art cars are public and mobile expressions of the artistic need to create. Some art car creators derive their inspiration from popular culture and yet visionary artists create in order to express complex visions, philosophies and ideas. There is a wide and varied spectrum of purpose found in art cars. In creating an art car, the “exteriors and interiors of factory-made automobiles are transformed into expressions of individual ideas, values, beliefs and dreams. The cars range from imaginatively painted vehicles to extravagant fantasies whose original bodies are concealed beneath newly sculptured shells” (from Petersen Automotive Museum’s Spring 2003 Los Angeles, California exhibit Wild Wheels: Art for the Road Gallery Guide)
Themes are different for each artist and can be satirical or even dark. A funny and inventive entry was titled “Student Driver” featuring a telephone pole laminated through one corner of the cabin; a leg with a roller skate still attached, projecting from one wheel well, with dents and marks of mayhem covering the vehicle. Political or educational messages are incorporated when an artist realizes they can take advantage of the attention to advance a cause. Parades and shows, often include “arted” bicycles, motor-scooters and costumed roller-skaters weaving among the art cars. Many art car owners incorporate music or street theater in their presentation.
In 1984, the Orange Show Foundation commissioned the Fruitmobile, recognizing that the art car, a medium for self-expression, is a mobile visionary art site. The same year, Ann Harithas curated an exhibition called “Collision” at Lawndale Art Center that featured two art cars. All this activity resulted in a number of art cars seen on Houston streets leading to the first annual Houston Art Car Parade, co-sponsored with the Houston International Festival in 1988. The first parade featured 40-art cars and was seen by an estimated 2,000.
By the following year, the parade had doubled in size and the crowd numbered in the tens of thousands. Another important milestone came in 1989, when Harrod Blank arrived from California with his art car, “Oh My God.” Blank’s quest to document America’s art cars eventually led to 2-books and 2-films on art cars. He told artists all over the nation about the Houston Art Car Parade and caravans of art cars were traveling thousands of miles to be in the parade. Another major milestone was the entry of Rebecca Bass and Edison Middle School in 1990. “The Body Shop” went on to win major awards, and started educators across the city to see art car projects as tools to teach life skills and engage students within their schools and community.
Today, the Houston Art Car Parade has grown into a 3-day celebration of the “Drive to Create”, Art Car Weekend and attracts more than 250 art cars and over 250,000 spectators. Parade entries include anything on wheels from unicycles to
lawnmowers, cars and go-carts. Community groups, public and private schools, and professional organizations have also become regular participants. Inspired by what they see, spectators create art cars of their own and often become future participants. As the parade grows, attracting more and more participants, the complexity and quality of the entries increases.
The art car is the quirkiest, most creative, and most difficult to categorize of all types of cars. Art cars borrow from fine art, folk art, outsider art, street art, advertising, the automobile industry, current trends, religion, science, politics, literature, sex, architecture, design, photography, the landscape, and nearly anything else you can think of.
Research shows in 1925, Sonia Delaunay created an amazing art car using a Citroen B12. She obviously possessed a progressively modern attitude in the Twenties. Her bold abstract paintwork is still fresh and contemporary today. The art car is a “canvas on wheels” which communicates on a new and different level; it is individualism, and the visual reach of the customized art car car is huge - delivering its own message to a great number. It both surprises and amuses, causing you to look twice and think. It is artistic surrealism taken to the streets.
Since the appearance of the first automobile at the end of the 19th century, the automobile itself and mobility were, and continue to be, the subject of painting, graphic art, photographic art, statuary art and sculpture. Harithas’ newest museum in Victoria, the Five Points Museum of Contemporary Art celebrates the spirit of this post-modern age of car-culture, in which artists have remolded stock cars to the specifications of their own images and visions. Featuring elaborate art cars, low-riders and mobile contraptions, as well as exhibitions by local, national, and international artists, the mission of Art Car Victoria is to elevate awareness of the political, economic, and personal dimensions of art. Award-winning art cars from noted car artists are on display at and around the Five Points Museum of Contemporary Art.
This is your chance to get an up-close and intimate look at these innovative, individual and artistic vehicles, and to meet their talented creators! These automobiles start as a symbol of personal expression and symbolize cultural pride for their creators, their family, and the community in which they live. This is one parade you won’t want to miss! So make sure to give yourself plenty of time to get there and get a good spot on the parade route. You won’t want to miss one minute of this fascinating parade!
Five Points Museum of Contemporary Art is located at 1201 North Moody in Victoria, TX and is open to the public 12-5pm Wednesday through Sunday. Admission at the museum is always FREE. For event information please contact: Maggie Kuykendall, Media Contact at (361) 894-2153.
FMI: Jam Fest, go to: https://www.facebook.com/JAMFestVictoria/