The Five Questions that Art Car Artists Get Asked All the Time!

July 22nd, 2012

1. Can you still DRIVE that thing?
2. How are you going to get that OFF your car?
3. What does that DO to the resale value of your car?
4. Can you get this THING inspected and insured?
5. Why did you do THAT to your car

These five questions are music to my ears when I am out and about in my art car. The answers always lead to fun conversations. To me, it seems the answers are fairly obvious, but given how often I am asked them, they must not be.
“Can you still drive that thing?” Well, of course I can. That’s what makes it an art car, not a sculpture. It can be driven. There are many variations on art cars, but the goal is always the same: to have a vehicle that drives. Some are Mutant Vehicles and are driven in the dessert at Burning Man. Some are parade vehicles driven in parades. Some are daily drivers and are driven every day.
“How will you get that off your car?” is a question that always baffles me and makes me laugh. I have just spent 4 months gluing this stuff on and you think I WANT it to come off? Just the opposite is true! I have researched how to make this stuff stay on as long as possible!
“What does that do to the resale value of the car?” Well, I used to wonder about that as well. When my car was flooded during Hurricane Ike, I got a settlement worth MORE than the blue book value!
“Can you get this thing insured and inspected?” As a daily driver I must be insured and inspected, so I researched the laws in my state and made sure I didn’t cover up my license plate, head or tail lights or exceed the height or width limits for driving on the roads. Getting the car inspected is usually another fun outing, with the inspectors taking pictures of themselves and the car. I make sure that my vehicle is maintained just like any other car and understand that safety is always important.
I keep insurance on the car. Those with parade vehicles who do not routinely drive their cars can even qualify for inexpensive parade insurance. Susan Wingfield was driving her Miata that is a painted art car when someone rear-ended her. The insurance company of the other driver paid her to repaint the damaged portions.
The last question is my favorite. “Why did you do that to your car?” I made my first art car as a rolling advertisement of my artwork. But it in the end I found it was that and so much more. The art car is a smile generator of the most amazing kind. People wave at me as I go by. Teenagers stop to take a pic with their smart phone. Crowds gather around me wherever I go. It’s almost impossible to be in a bad mood when I am driving my art car.

How to Say “PEACE” AROUND THE GALAXY

July 15th, 2012

A Paz… Galician

Abluka… Moonmadian

Achukma… Choctaw

Alaáfía… Yoruba

Amaithi… Tamil

Aman… Malay, Urdu

Amaní… Swahili

Amniat… Persian, Farsi,

Ashtee… Pashto

Asomdwee… Twi-Akan

Bake… Basque

Barish… Turkish

Béke… Hungarian

Däilama… Daiian

Der Frieden… German

Damai… Indonesian

Diakatra… Maranao

Emem… Efik

Ets’a’an Olal… Maya

‘Éyewi… Nez Perce

Filemu… Samoan

Fois… Scottish, Gaelic

Fred… Danish Fride…Swiss

Frieden… German

Fridur… Icelandic

Goom-jigi… Martian

Hasîtî …Kurdish

Hau… Tahitian

Heddwich… Welsh

Heiwa… Japanese

Hoa Bình… Vietnamese

Heping… Mandarin

Innaihtsi’iyi… Blackfoot

Iri’ni… Greek

Írq… Amharic

Isithangami… Zulu

Kagiso… Setswana

Kalayaan… Philippines

K’é… Navajo

Ketenteraman… Malay

Kutula… Fanagolo

Kwam Sa… Lao

La Pace… Italian,

La Paix… French

La Paqe… Albanian

La Patz… Aranés

La Pau… Catalán

La Paz… Spanish

Lapé… Haitian Creole

Linew… Manobo

Mabuhay… Tagalog

Maluhia… Hawaiian

Meleilei… Ponapean

Melino… Tonga

Mier… Slovak

Miers… Latvian

Mina… Wintu

Mír… Bosnian

Muka-muka… Ekari

Nabad Da… Somali

Ñerane’i… Guaraní

Nimuhóre… Ruanda

Nirudho… Pali

Nye… Ntomba

Paçi… Maltese

Paco… Esperanto

Pax… Latin

Peace… English

Pingan… Chinese

Pokój… Polish, Slovak

Pyong’hwa… Korean

Rahu… Estonian

Rangima’arie… Maori

Rauha… Finnish

Rukun… Javanese

Saamaya… Sinhalese

Saanti… Nepali

Sai Gaai Òh Pìhng… Yue

Salam… Arabic, Persian

Santipap… Thai

Shalom… Hebrew Shîte

Shiy-De… Tibetan

Shanti… Bengali

Shulem… Yidish

Síocháin… Irish

Sìth… Gaelic, Scottish

Soksang… Khmer

Solh… Dari, Persian

Sulh… Turkish

Taika… Lithuainian

Tecócatú… Nhengatu

Thayu… Gikuyu

Tsumukikatu… Comanche

Tuktuquil Usilal… Kékchí 

Ukuthula… Zulu

Vrede… Dutch

Vreugde… Afrikaans

Wetaskiwin… Cree

Wolakota… Lakhota

Wôntôkóde… Micmac

Wo’okeyeh… Sioux

Wook-Wook …Wookie

Yaaloo… Illyrian

Zenabo… Elvish

ZikZik… Zaruthrian

 


Or Just Say

“ART CARS!”

 

When Worlds Collide!

July 10th, 2012


Every artist should have an art car! This is the startling realization I came to in 2008 when I started my first art car, the Piecemobile.  As an art quilter living in Houston, I was in the perfect place for worlds to collide. Houston is the Art Car Capital of the world and also the home of the biggest quilt festival in the world.  When worlds collide, magical things happen and new worlds are created.

I had toyed with making an art car for years, having seen a few art cars around town. I had never been to the Art Car Parade and didn’t even know any art carmakers.  But I was looking for something new to spark my creativity and was frustrated with results of the normal ways of promoting my work as an art quilter. So I decided to take a chance and create an art car.

I envisioned the Piecemobile as large rolling canvas to showcase my work.  I decided not to make a quilted car but to use my large format printer to print large panels of my drawings and to attach them to the car. The drawings were of women quilting and sewing and once they were attached to the car I embellished them with pincushions, needle cases, and thousands of buttons.

 

Art Car Making and Driving is an Experience!

July 9th, 2012

Art car making and driving is an experience!

One of the unique things about building an art car is that it is hard to hide in the studio. I worked on my first car for four months in my driveway.  In process, I met many neighbors that I would never have met and got to talk to them about my work.

I also had to reach out to other art car artists about how to do what I wanted to do. That meant finding the art car groups on the web and asking questions about processes. When no one knew the answer one of my questions (how to attach fabric to the car without getting bleed through and how to protect it in the sun) I had to use my knowledge from art quilt making to solve those problems through trial and error.  I also found out there was an art car club, so once I had a start on the car, my husband and I attended a few meetings and made lots of friends.

I was not really prepared for the attention being a daily art car driver can bring. It’s a little like being a celebrity. Every time I leave the grocery store, I  find people crowded around my car. Teenagers look up from texting to snap a photo of me when I pass them at the bus stop.  I am a one-car parade wherever I go.

Driving my car to an art opening or a local festival brings lots of photo ops and opportunities to hand out business cards, postcards and to talk about my work.  I am getting better about talking about my work as I have ample times to practice on the people stopping me in parking lots to ask about the car.

I also garnered lots of new invitations to art openings and other artsy events by having the notoriety of being an art car artist.  Art Car artists are unique even in a city like large city like Houston, which is the Art Car Capital of the World.  There are less than 100 dedicated art car drivers in Houston, even though the annual Art Car Parade in May rolls several hundred cars in the parade, many are temporary and just made for the parade by local schools and other groups.

Art cars are a standard feature in many local Houston parades, so those artists with permanent cars find many times to parade in their vehicles. There is now an illuminated art car parade called Gloworama.

Local schools and hospitals and retirement homes often ask for art car artists to visit and show off their cars while galas and other VIP events sometimes offer honorariums for the artists to bring out art cars to act as party props.

Because the art car is basically a rolling piece of art, it can reach a whole new audience. It can be taken to many unusual events like Renaissance fairs, and Burning Man type outdoor festivals.  One artist I know, Bonnie Blue, uses her car Women Who Rock as part of her booth when she sells her hand painted rocks and boots.

I have driven my car to local car events and well and have received warm receptions from the drivers of classic and vintage cars. My second art car “Along Came a Spider” has lace and lacing and lighting and is a 1982 Fiat Spider with a giant metal spider on top that my son Perry and a friend, Ben Gibson built.

The images I have collected of my car make great advertising. The postcards I printed with pictures of my art car on one side and my quilts and website address on the other side were very popular when I was an Artist in Residence at Houston Center for Contemporary Craft.

Other people enjoy capturing my car in photos and I have found my car on blogs and websites. I have been interviewed for the Houston evening News and I was even seen for a fleeting instant on a recent episode of America’s Got Talent in the opening section about Houston.

Making and driving an art car is truly a life changing experience. The total overall effect of the thousands of smiles I have gotten as I drive the streets of my hometown in my various art cars has made my life better.  The drudgery of a trip to grocery is transformed into an adventure.  And I  always arrive in style at every party if I come in an art car!  When my husband and I took my first art car out to a local Burning Man type Festival,  we found friends that we will have for life: people who live life with a real zest for fun and creativity. They drive their art cars out for Santa Rampages and for off the grid Illuminated Cruises.

But watch out! Because they are just so much fun, art car making is catching!

“You missed a spot!”  was the taunt that my husband and son made when I was making the Piecemobile.

But now a few years later after riding in my art car, my husband has created the Peace Expedition and my son has made the Kia Pet, both art cars. My son’s friend Jerred drives a new art car. My friend Chris has an elaborate first art car in the making, and entire group of friends in Galveston created an art truck that they drove in the last Mardi Gras Parade.

I have recently bought a VW Beetle that I am going to make into an art car. Should it become a Lightning Bug? A Lady Bug? These are the questions that keep me up at night!  Maybe worlds will collide again and it will be a Bed Bug.  Whatever happens, I am sure it will be magic!

PS…The Bug got traded in for a Mustang…..stay tuned!

Gloworama

November 17th, 2009

Looking for that perfect – and uniquely Houston – way to entertain family and friends over Thanksgiving Weekend?

GLOWORAMA is the answer!! A spectacular illuminated Art Car Parade, light show & party at the George R. Brown!!

Art Cars will start their dazzling procession at 9pm – lit up like you’ve never seen them before – while LD Systems illuminates the walls of the GRB with a fabulous light show!

The party will start on the VIP balconies of the GRB overlooking the parade route with an open bar and casual dining. The balcony party and parade will end with a bang when the fireworks signal the beginning of AfterGlow – an amped up post-parade party amongst the illuminated Art Cars inside the halls of the GRB. You’ll stay entertained till the wee hours with the Rich Latimer Band, spectacular performances and all the zany entertainment that you’ve come to expect from Art Car Artists. It promises to be an unforgettable night!

The parade and light show are free and open to the public. The VIP balcony party will be from 7-10 and will include tickets to AfterGlow. Tickets are $150/person. AfterGlow tickets are $25/person ($35 @ door) and may be purchased online at www.gloworama.com/tickets.html .

Rev up and get your GLOW on!!

Terry Brooks Peace Purse

August 8th, 2009

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Sherry Boram’s Peace Orbit

August 7th, 2009

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Meena Schaldenbrand’s Peace Offering

August 5th, 2009

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Peace by Joanell Connolly

August 4th, 2009

Peacce by Joanell Connolly

More Peace Offerings

July 23rd, 2009

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This one by Linda BairdDSCN0343