One of my goals on my trip to Houston was to explore not only the most popular spots in the city, but also to step off the beaten path and explore the quirkier side of Houston. When my sister told me about the Art Car Museum or as it’s better known in Houston, the “Garage Mahal”, I was immediately intrigued. Art? Cars? Art on cars? I had to see this with my own two eyes. I love to find unique things to do in a city that you can’t find in every city around the world and I knew the Art Car Museum was the answer I had been looking for.
It was obvious we were in for a treat just by seeing the outside of the building, it was completely decorated and looked a little like a spaceship. Creativity was exploding out of the building and it made me all the more excited to see what the inside held. We were greeted as soon as we walked through the door and were told all about the museum and the current exhibit on display. The museum normally has an art exhibit with several contributing artists and a couple art cars on display that go along with the theme of the artwork. The exhibits are rotated every couple months so you can continually visit the museum and see a variety of artwork and art cars and the best part is it’s free (donations are accepted).
The exhibit that we saw was titled “Seductions” and is on display from January 16th to March 12th 2016 (visit the museum website for updates on new exhibits). The exhibit featured abstract artwork from five local artists: Veronica Dyer, Sylvia Ellis, Rosanne Hudson, Sue Burke Harrington, and Michelle O’Michael. Accompanying the artwork were three cars, one art car and two classic cars. Generally, there are a couple art cars on display, but the two classic cars were selected for this exhibit because they complimented the artwork well (which I definitely agreed with). The sleek features of the classic cars seemed to mimic the themes in the artwork displayed around the museum.
The art car on display was titled “Shattered Vanity” and was created by Nicole Strine. An entire 1997 Honda Accord was thoughtfully covered in cut mirror tiles which resembled an intricate puzzle. It was amazing to see the level of detail it must have taken to carefully and strategically place all of the mirror tiles to create one complete masterpiece.
Every year there’s an art car parade in Houston that showcases some of the most creative and unique art cars. The parade is free and is a super fun and quirky way to spend an afternoon (here are more details on the parade). There are winners announced every year for the best art cars, so don’t miss the opportunity to see some of the most imaginative and peculiar cars in the nation. If you’re headed to Houston and you want to stray off the beaten path and see a more eccentric side of the city, then you can’t miss a visit to the Art Car Museum.
- Museum is open Wednesday through Sunday from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm. Closed Monday and Tuesdays.
- The museum is free however donations are accepted to help keep the museum operating.
- Exhibits are rotated every couple months, so always check back to see new artwork and art cars.
- The museum is pretty small with very limited parking, so you need to call ahead to accommodate large groups (phone number: 713-861-5526).
- Address: 140 Heights Blvd., Houston, Texas 77007