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Art car exhibit coming to Victoria


May 13, 2010 at 12:13 a.m.

On Saturday, the Nave Museum will become Victoria's "Art Car Central" from noon to 4 p.m. Award-winning art cars from Houston will be on display on Commercial Street in front of the Nave and a new exhibition of art car photography by Maurice Roberts will be open inside the museum. Shown is David Best's "Victory Over Sin."

Every spring, hundreds of thousands of artists and art lovers make the pilgrimage to Houston for the annual Art Car Parade. Starting with just four cars back in 1985, the event has now grown to include 300,000 spectators and around 300 art cars created by artists from around the world, event creator Ann Harithas said.

In fact, the event has grown so much, and risen so much in popularity, that there is even a Houston museum dedicated to the art cars. Inspired by Houston's success, other cities have started their own art car parades, including Chicago, New Orleans, St. Louis and Atlanta.

So why should Victorians care about the art car phenomenon? On Saturday, the city is going to become "Art Car Central" thanks to the Nave Museum.

Award-winning cars from this year's 2010 Houston Art Car Parade will be on display on Commercial Street in front of the museum from noon to 4 p.m. In addition, a new exhibition of art car photography by Maurice Roberts and curated by Harithas will be inside the museum, according to a news release.

Roberts, of Houston, has been documenting the art car parades for the past 20 years, he said.

"It's a lot of fun to watch. You forget just how creative people can be, especially with something as big as a car," he said. "There's also all these outrageous costumes. The whole thing fascinated me."

The exhibit, featuring Roberts' work, will include some of the most memorable vehicles and scenes from the past 20 years, according to the news release. There will also be a multimedia installation by him on display.

In addition, Candace Coyle, of the Manhattan Art Project, is coordinating with local schools to create mini art cars that will also be on display inside the Nave. Schools participating are Chandler Elementary, Vickers Elementary and Memorial High School-Stroman campus.

"We have purchased cars for each child in the program and they will be transforming them into whatever they become," Coyle said in a news release. "Elementary students will be using small cars and the high school kids are doing something totally different, as they have the ability; quite possibly something out of clay."

As for the cars that will be on display outside the museum, those scheduled to appear include artist David Best's "Victory Over Sin," which won the 2010 Best of Show and People's Choice Award, Kenny Browning's "Roachster," W.T. Burge's "The Phantom Car" and Amber Eagle's "Our Lady of Transportation," among many others. During the exhibit opening, Noah Edmundson from the Houston Art Car Museum will give a talk about the art car movement also.

The "Art Car Central" opening is open to the public and will be from noon-4 p.m. Saturday. The photography exhibit inside the Nave Museum will be on display starting Saturday and through July 3.



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