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The Art Car Museum, A Hidden Wonder

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'Make Out, Not War!' (c) Jairo Razo, 2010

The Art Car Museum in the Heights is the perfect escape for a college student on a tight budget.

According to Jim Hachett, the museum curator, the Art Car Museum is a privately funded contemporary art museum that has been around for 12 years. They have 12 cars in their collection but also display cars on loan from the community. The free admission museum that is also known as the “Garage Mahal” holds four to five art shows a year.

At first glance, the outside looks peculiar. The building resembles a house that the Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz would live in. From the moment you step off the sidewalk, an automobile immediately puts you in a state of awe. A ten-foot horse before the museum’s doors also greets visitors.

This is not simply an art car museum.

The current exhibit on display depicts the life of Barbara Jones through her paintings along side the art cars. Jones is a former University of Houston student who passed away in 2009. Her vibrant use of colors, created quite a range of art pieces most of which captured still life and messages. One room that contains the piece “Girls with Guns” shows disapproval for senseless violence.

The art cars are still the main works.

In the main room includes an anti-war Chevrolet truck smothered with kisses, a rich landscape people and the words “make out not war”. There are other pieces, such as a shell-covered car and a racecar completely welded together. This racecar, called Phantom, has several distinct faces around the grill and rear tires.

The last car in the main room is a restored 1958 Cadillac Sedan DeVille. The interior includes handpicked custom dyed leather seats with a custom paint job on the outside to match. Under the popping pink hood is a 396 cubic inch V-8 engine, which completes this American classic.

“This was unexpected but so worthwhile,” said Andres Perez, a museum visitor admiring the Cadillac. “She’s a beauty.”
The museum is located at 140 Heights Blvd, is free to everyone and is open Wednesday-Sunday from 11am to 6pm. For more information, call 713-861-5526 or visit www.artcarmuseum.com.

Article by Jairo Razo



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