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Creative, Colorful Cars: The Houston Art Car Experience

Jordan Magaziner Steinfeld
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  • Jamie Ford

    Carnegie teacher Ms. Jamie Ford poses as construction with Carnegie’s Houston-proud themed art car (“We had to include road construction props with the car!” she said). The art car is covered with student-decorated maps and items that “make Houston, Houston” like the "Be Someone" sign and NRG stadium, she said.

  • Carnegie students with car

    Carnegie seniors from Ms. Ford’s Scientific Research and Design course used scientific experimentation methods to design their art car. Ms. Ford said it's ironic that she, as a science teacher, heads up this project but says that the art car is a great example of STEAM in schools. 

  • Art car parade

    The Art Car Parade, an iconic Houston event, is represented on Carnegie's art car. The Houston Art Car Experience takes place this year May 14-16. 

  • Parker art car

    Parker Elementary School's art car - a lion-themed car decorated in donated musical instruments - is one of the featured cars in this year's Art Car Experience. Parker art teacher Julie Dickinson drove it through the streets of Westbury last year when the parade was cancelled so students and their families could see the fruits of their labor. Read more here. 

  • Amy Lynch Kolflat

    Amy Lynch Kolflat is known for her zebra art cars. 

  • Zebra herd

    Amy Lynch Kolflat says the “herd” of zebras are stampeding around the Art Car Experience this weekend. Pictured, from left: A metal painting of the OG Ze-Bra mobile with Amy on top by Bonnie Blue; the Mini-Z, a gas-powered golf cart with a customized 1960s coupe fiberglass body by Nancy Curry, Amy, and Rickey Polidore; the Ze-Max, a Nissan Maxima hand-painted with LED lighting; and the Ze-Bro, a Ford F-150 airbrushed with iconic Houston landmarks. 

  • Arabic Immersion Magnet School

    This art car came from the Arabic Immersion Magnet School. 

  • Northside High School

    Northside High School students worked on the "Big Blue" art car. 

  • Kashmere Gardens

    This Black Panther-themed car was created by Kashmere Gardens Elementary School. 

  • Jamie Ford
  • Carnegie students with car
  • Art car parade
  • Parker art car
  • Amy Lynch Kolflat
  • Zebra herd
  • Arabic Immersion Magnet School
  • Northside High School
  • Kashmere Gardens

For more than three decades, the iconic Houston Art Car Parade has been a source of fun and inspiration to individuals of all ages. Due to Covid, the parade hasn’t been able to take place since 2019. 

So, The Orange Show Center for Visionary Art decided to bring back the tradition in a reimagined way.  This weekend, check out awe-inspiring, imaginative works by Houstonians at The Houston Art Car Experience – by day or by night. 

For the day experience (May 14-16, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.): Browse through 80 art cars and learn about each of them though a digital tour accessible from your smartphone. There will also be children’s crafts, food and drinks, and more fun. 

The night experience (May 14-15, 7-11 p.m.) is sold out. The night experience includes musical performances, an illuminated Art Car Walk, digital art installations, wild costumes, food and drinks, and more. 

For a sneak-peek, look through the slideshow above for some local art car masterpieces. 

Tickets for the Day Experience are $10 for adults; $5 for kids 12 and under; tickets for the Night Experience are $40. Find more details and purchase tickets here.

Editor's note: When the 2020 Art Car Parade was cancelled, art teacher Julie Dickinson paraded the Parker art car through the streets of Westbury. Read more here.

Jamie Ford

Carnegie teacher Ms. Jamie Ford poses as construction with Carnegie’s Houston-proud themed art car (“We had to include road construction props with the car!” she said). The art car is covered with student-decorated maps and items that “make Houston, Houston” like the "Be Someone" sign and NRG stadium, she said.

Carnegie students with car

Carnegie seniors from Ms. Ford’s Scientific Research and Design course used scientific experimentation methods to design their art car. Ms. Ford said it's ironic that she, as a science teacher, heads up this project but says that the art car is a great example of STEAM in schools. 

Art car parade

The Art Car Parade, an iconic Houston event, is represented on Carnegie's art car. The Houston Art Car Experience takes place this year May 14-16. 

Parker art car

Parker Elementary School's art car - a lion-themed car decorated in donated musical instruments - is one of the featured cars in this year's Art Car Experience. Parker art teacher Julie Dickinson drove it through the streets of Westbury last year when the parade was cancelled so students and their families could see the fruits of their labor. Read more here. 

Amy Lynch Kolflat

Amy Lynch Kolflat is known for her zebra art cars. 

Zebra herd

Amy Lynch Kolflat says the “herd” of zebras are stampeding around the Art Car Experience this weekend. Pictured, from left: A metal painting of the OG Ze-Bra mobile with Amy on top by Bonnie Blue; the Mini-Z, a gas-powered golf cart with a customized 1960s coupe fiberglass body by Nancy Curry, Amy, and Rickey Polidore; the Ze-Max, a Nissan Maxima hand-painted with LED lighting; and the Ze-Bro, a Ford F-150 airbrushed with iconic Houston landmarks. 

Arabic Immersion Magnet School

This art car came from the Arabic Immersion Magnet School. 

Northside High School

Northside High School students worked on the "Big Blue" art car. 

Kashmere Gardens

This Black Panther-themed car was created by Kashmere Gardens Elementary School. 

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