Houston Art Car Museum
Location: Houston, TX (140 Heights Blvd.)
When to visit: Open 11am-5pm Wednesday through Sunday (appointment only)
Time needed: 30-45 minutes
Art and cars are both awesome on their own, but put them together and you have the Art Car Museum in Houston. This small facility displays a handful of cars decorated in all sorts of crazy designs.
Some have toys and trinkets glued all over them. Some are just painted funny. All are fascinating to see!
Inside Houston’s Art Car Museum
I must state that my visit to the Art Car Museum was a few years back, so you should expect that most of the sights have changed since then. But these pics will give you a sense of the vibe of the place.
The car shown at the top of this post is called Planet Karmann. The 1971 VW Karmann Ghia was created by Shelley Buschur and depicts a woman floating peacefully through the cosmos.
Below is a 2007 Toyota Yaris called Little Bit of Nonsense by Randy Blair. The title is an understatement, as there’s a whole lot of nonsense on this car:
This next car, titled Z-ena the Mermaid, is my favorite. The colors are cool on this 1975 Datsun 280Z by Bonnie Blue. It was inspired by her experience on Galveston Island and it was even featured on Ellen.
The mermaid car feels like something that should be on display at another quirky facility, the Mermaid Museum!
The cars do change at this museum, so you may find a sweet ride that looks even more spectacular when you visit.
The back room features some non-car artwork. When I visited, I saw a papier mache Elvis (“Elvis Presley” by Jesse Lott) and a mirror and wood art piece (“People That Eat Animals Have a Love Deficiency” by Forrest Prince.)
The Art Car Museum is free, and it’s one of the better spots to find quirky culture in Houston, so drop by when you’re in town.
Art cars are popular at several quirky festivals around the country, such as the Seattle Fremont Fair. If you’ve never seen art cars, the Art Car Museum is the perfect place to do it!
Remembering the Founder
Last year, the museum’s owner and co-founder, Ann O’Connor Williams Harithas, passed away at age 80. The museum intends to keep her vision alive and carry on.
Ann is quoted on the museum’s website as saying, “It is my deepest wish to see the Art Car movement flourish, because it brings the drama of art beyond the walls of the museum to people of all walks of life.”
Museum Hours and Info
As of this writing, the Art Car Museum is now accepting visitors by appointment only. Current hours are 11 am through 5 pm, Wednesday through Sunday. Check out the museum’s Facebook page.
The museum is located at 140 Heights Blvd. It’s near a commercial area with a Voodoo Doughnut and a Walmart Supercenter. I actually walked there from Buffalo Bayou Park, which took about 30 minutes.