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Artist explores inner self in art car show (Video)

By BY CAROLINA ASTRAIN - SPECIAL TO THE ADVOCATE
May 18, 2012 at 12:18 a.m.
Updated May 22, 2012 at 12:22 a.m.

David Best's "Prayer Wheels" exhibit opens at the Nave on Saturday.

IF YOU GO

• Art Cars parade and show

• When: Parade is 11:30 a.m.; show is noon to 4 p.m.

• Where: Nave Museum, 306 W. Commercial St., downtown Victoria

• Cost: Free

If you happen to walk by the Nave Museum Saturday afternoon, you are sure to stumble upon art car-master, David Best's new painting exhibit, "Prayer Wheels."

The exhibit will also be accompanied by the very first art car parade in Victoria.

Each painting carries a hint of India mixed with automobile nostalgia. The cross-cultural exhibit, Best said, represents a part of himself that he discovered when he started making art cars in the 1980s.

Best remembers working with patients who were terminally ill with AIDS in his early art car work.

"They used to ask where the cars were going," Best said. "I told them it was taking them to heaven.

For Best, his time working on art cars represents an emotional cathartic part of his life.

"If you were to cut me open, inside of me on one half, there would be car tires and oil cans and stuff like that," Best said. "And the other half might be something nicer, I don't know."

Years ago, Best and his wife, Maggie Roth, suffered a cancer scare. Luckily, the cancer turned out to be benign, but soon after, the couple developed a case of wanderlust which eventually led them to exploring India.

In India, Best said the circular prayer movements he witnessed in front of a Buddhist temple inspired the theme of tires in his new exhibit.

"Prayer Wheels" is the 10th exhibit curated by Ann Harithas at the Nave Museum. Harithas, originally from Victoria, created the famous Art Car Parade in Houston.

"Bringing that tradition back to her hometown has always been a great dream of my mother's," Molly Kemp, Harithas' daughter said. "And it's a dream that has come true."

In the past, Harithas has featured such artists as Jessie Lott, Susan Plum, Tres Latinos, Mel Chin, Maurice Roberts, Irv Tepper, Travis Whitfield and Maura Sheehan.

"Every year I noticed they seem to get bigger and bigger," Harithas said. " This is the first year we'll have the parade in Victoria."

The parade is set to include 45 to 50 art cars. Admission is free to the public.

"What drew me to Ann, is that she thinks about her friends," Best said. "Ann keeps her horses."

Corrected May 23, 2012.

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