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Artistic Autos:

Art Cars

The art car is a creative expression of Americas’ affair with the automobile. It began after World War II and for the past fifty years has evolved into a phenomenon. An art car usually begins with an old or used vehicle that is need of repair. Instead of focusing on transforming the inside of the vehicle, the owner radically changes the exterior of the car. Art cars are made by ordinary people and are often driven and owned by their creator. These cars became popular in the 20th century when commercial advertisements started to use them. The Oscar Meier Weiner Wagon was a vehicle that was transformed to look like a hotdog. Soon after the art car culture could be found all around the United States and other countries. The overall appeal of the art car seems to be the act of personal artistic expression. Artists say that driving the art car that they created is a reward within itself. If you are interested in learning more about art cars you can volunteer at an art car parade, visit an art car museum or expo, or join a club dedicated towards creating art car masterpieces.

Beginners can participate in this fun and creative activity by following a few simple steps. First you need to choose your automobile that you want to modify. Then you must decide if you are going to drive your creation on a regular basis or leave your car parked. If you choose to drive your art car, then your car needs to be in good working condition and, you can plan on receiving a lot of attention when driving your masterpiece down the street. Once you decided upon your automobile then comes the fun part; choosing a theme. This is your time to be creative and express yourself. Themes are unlimited. You can make a political statement, go with a hobby that you like, promote a local business or just create something from your imagination. When you’re planning your theme create sketches and find tangible samples of what you want. It’s also important to make any pre-paint modifications like cutting before you paint. If you plan on creating large sculptures that will attach to your car then make these items first. This will make it easier for you to determine where they go. Now comes the best part of all, painting the car! Choose colors that will compliment your theme. One-shot side enamel can be found in bright colors and is extremely durable. After painting your car attach any large pieces first then attach the background materials. Liquid nails or silicone adhesive works great when attaching small pieces. Apply any finishing coatings such as calk or shellac and you’re ready to show your art car off to the world.

Now that you learned how to create an art car where can you show your masterpiece off? There are an abundance of conventions and art car parades that display all types of rolling art. The Houston Art Car Parade was the first art car parade in the world and continues to be an annual event every May in Houston, Texas. Another annual art car parade is in Minneapolis at the end of July. You can see art bikes at this parade as well. The art car phenomenon has become so popular that you can now visit a museum in downtown Arizona where they feature 42 of the best art cars from around the world. This museum participates in special art car events throughout the year called the Art Car Fest where individuals can enter their creations or have the fest come to your city or school. For those of you that are looking to find art car clubs you can join Tulsa ArtCar Club on Facebook where you will find events, photos and meet friends who have similar interests in creating these fun cars. Tulsa also has an art car weekend in May where you can join or see local art car exhibits. Don’t forget art cars are all about expressing yourself, let your imagination run wild and have fun!

To learn more about art cars, consult the following links.

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Matt is the Managing Partner at Leland-West Insurance Brokers, Inc. He started with the firm while still a college student, way back in 1984. According to Matt his only remaining hobby is Motorsport ... because its all he can afford ("will work for tires"). Reach him at matt@lelandwest.com