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The Art Car Museum in Houston, Texas: A Must-See Folk Art Attraction

I live in Houston, and I have worked as a nurse. My interests include art, traveling, reading, gardening, cooking, and our wonderful pets.

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For those who appreciate the wild and wacky—or at least the unusual—be sure to visit the Art Car Museum if you are in Houston. It is a folk art happening that is sure to delight the senses!

  • It is located at 140 Heights Boulevard, Houston, Texas 77007.
  • The museum is open from 11 am to 6 pm Wednesday to Sunday, and admission is free.
  • To accommodate large groups, please call 713-861-5526 before visiting the museum.

The museum was first opened in 1998. It showcases a few art cars at a time (due to space limitations) and is also a venue for artists who create modern art. The shows are changed frequently, and it is always a surprise to visit and see what is being showcased.

Subjects both serious and bizarre are addressed. Some of the artists are not yet well recognized, so being able to display their works in this museum may help launch their art careers.

Three-dimensional works of art are sometimes whimsical and surprising. All types of wall art are on display. Videos can also be viewed in a gallery at the back of the museum. A somewhat macabre video that was once on view inside of the museum showed a body being cremated. It took us a few moments to even realize what we were viewing.

There is nothing serious about these cars with the exception of the time and inspiration put forth from the artists who created these icons to the independence of personal expression.

Some of the art cars are simply painted, mirrored, or plastered with every kind of object from beads to boxes, bunnies to coffeepots and so on. Others are transformed into other shapes entirely, such as a ladies' red high-heeled shoe, an outhouse, or a roach. You name it and eventually, someone’s imagination will have made it a reality.

Houston Art Car Parade

The largest Art Car Parade in the country is held each year in Houston. People drive these wacky cars from all over the nation and convene in our city for a festival and parade consisting of the unusual and fun.

Cars are not the only thing featured. Anything motorized has come to be included.

If you like cars of all types and descriptions and you appreciate what can be done to change their appearance, then this type of parade and festival just might be right up your alley!

A Fun Houston Venue

In a city of this size (the fourth largest in the United States) we have many entertaining venues to choose from. Often when we have had out-of-town visitors, we have included the Houston Art Car Museum on our list of places to take them. No one has ever walked away from the experience without being amused.

If you find yourself in Houston, Texas and have extra time on your hands, you just might wish to check out this wild and wacky entertaining place dedicated to portraying cars in a manner that is different from the norm. Who knows? It might give you some ideas about how to embellish yours!

People in our city like their art cars. We often spot them in various places around town as well as in the museum. So keep your eyes peeled if driving the streets of our city. You may just spot some unusual ones for yourself!

Looking forward to your comments below.

Location of our Houston Art Car Museum

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2018 Peggy Woods

Comments

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 08, 2020:

Hi C E Clark,

Most of these places are currently closed to the public, but hopefully, in the days ahead, they will once again be able to be enjoyed. Yes, we are careful. Wishing you good health and safety in the days to come. Thanks!

C E Clark from North Texas on April 07, 2020:

Some of these vehicles are pretty amazing. This museum really does look like it would be an interesting and fun place to visit. Great photos! Posting this article to FB & AH.

While it may be difficult to stay in for such a long period of time, I hope you and your husband are taking every precaution to remain healthy and safe. Take care . . .

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 07, 2019:

Hi Dianna,

The people down here really relish their art cars. I am sure you would enjoy visiting the Art Car Museum. We also have regular car shows but viewing these art cars is always fun.

Dianna Mendez on April 07, 2019:

If I ever get to Houston this will be on my list of must sees. We have car shows around here but they are not so beautifully creative.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on March 30, 2019:

Hi Dale,

The Art Car Museum is interesting mostly because of the oddity of the vehicles on display. My husband likes to go to vintage car shows. I have enjoyed them once or twice but would not make a habit of attending them.

Dale Anderson from The High Seas on March 29, 2019:

My wife would et a blast out of this. There's two things you can always count on her to want to attend, one is a flower show and the other is a car show. Funnily I am not interested in cars much at all, but my wife loves them and could look at them all day.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on November 12, 2018:

Hi Dolores,

It is nice that you get to see art cars up in Baltimore at the summer art's festival. They are so much fun to see and the artists who create them are so inventive.

Dolores Monet from East Coast, United States on November 12, 2018:

Hi Peggy - love those art cars. Though this is a bit out of the way for me, I enjoy seeing art cars at Baltimore's Art Scape, a summer art's festival.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on October 16, 2018:

Hi Lorelei,

That bunny car was so inventive as well as cute. It is amazing what can be found inside of the Art Car Museum in Houston. It is also fun spotting an occasional art car on the streets or in parking lots around town.

Lorelei Cohen from Canada on October 16, 2018:

Wow I love that bunny car. I could definitely see myself enjoying that piece.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on October 03, 2018:

Hi Mark,

Hope when you visit Houston you map out some time. Our city and the entire metro area is vast and has much to offer visitors. Glad you liked this look at the Art Car Museum.

Mark Tulin from Santa Barbara, California on October 03, 2018:

Houston is one city I haven’t visited yet. I’m putting it on my list now along with the art car museum. So quirky. A real treasure.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on August 29, 2018:

Hi C E Clark,

This museum is a fun place to visit. People are certainly imaginative when they create their art cars! Thanks for the shares.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on August 29, 2018:

Hi Ethel,

I am glad you liked them. They are really fun to view in various places in addition to this art car museum.

C E Clark from North Texas on August 29, 2018:

People certainly have wild imaginations! Great photos as always. Looks like a fun event. The museum would certainly be an interesting experience. Posted to FB and Awesome HubPages.

Ethel Smith from Kingston-Upon-Hull on August 28, 2018:

Some great images of some fab cars Peggy thank you

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 22, 2018:

Hi Viet Doan,

If you come to Houston again perhaps you will have some time to check out the art car museum. Assuredly there will be different things on display than what was featured here. They change things out regularly.

Viet Doan from Big Island, Hawaii on July 22, 2018:

So bizarre yet so creative! I've never heard of this museum before, even though I've been to Houston quite a few times. Thank Peggy for such a fascinating article. I love that picture of you and your husband next to that giant bunny car!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 15, 2018:

Hi Rajan,

We also have vintage car rallies here. These art cars are whimsical and fun. The people who create them must also have a lot of fun. Glad you found this interesting.

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on July 15, 2018:

Nothing like this do we have here so this was interesting reading and watching. We do have vintage cars and rallies but that's about all.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 14, 2018:

Hi John,

Yes kids of all ages seem to appreciate these art cars. It would be nice for you to get to visit this art car museum in Houston someday. Perhaps you might even spot some art cars on our streets.

Ray from Philippines on July 13, 2018:

Wow, everything there was fantastic! I am loving those cars and I am amazed by their designs. It is vibrant, detailed, and very pleasant-looking. Kids must have liked that as well. Looking forward to going there in the future.Thanks for this!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 12, 2018:

Hi Patricia,

They televise the Houston Art Car Parade each year and that is how we choose to view it. It is a fun and amazing event! Thanks for the visit and good wishes.

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on July 12, 2018:

What fun that parade must be!!! I am always amazed at creations folks can come up with. thank you for sharing with us. Angels are once again headed your way ps

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 04, 2018:

Hi John,

I agree with you that a lot of time and effort has been put into creating these art cars. Happy to be able to showcase this local Houston museum to you.

John Hansen from Queensland Australia on July 04, 2018:

Peggy, there are certainly some weird and whacky creations here, but you have to appreciate the time and effort people devote to them.

I haven't seen a museum like this in Australia though so would love to visit one day if ever possible. Thanks for sharing.

Robert Sacchi on June 29, 2018:

Yes, I can see where it would be a fun place to visit.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on June 29, 2018:

Hi Robert,

Different is a good word to describe the Art Car Museum. It is also fun!

Robert Sacchi on June 28, 2018:

It does seem a nice place to visit. Certainly different.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on June 27, 2018:

Hi Linda,

The annual art car parade is well publicized in our city and years ago we stumbled on to the fact of there being an art car museum here. It is certainly different and rather fun. It is also fun viewing art cars when they are spotted on the streets of Houston. I will be curious to know if you spot them in Canada where you live.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on June 27, 2018:

I've never thought much about art cars before. The ones in your photos are certainly interesting! I'll have to look for some in my part of the world. Thanks for sharing another enjoyable article about Houston.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on June 26, 2018:

Hi FlourishAnyway,

You are correct what you said about driving an art car. You would certainly not be anonymous or blend into the crowd. Ha ha!

FlourishAnyway from USA on June 26, 2018:

What a wacky place you’ve profiled! Very fun for people of all ages. I’d love to visit. I’ve seen some art cars although I didn’t know what to call them at the time and was amused. Couldn’t imagine driving one. You couldn’t get away with being anonymous.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on June 26, 2018:

Hi agusfanani,

I know how you like to recycle things so using what most probably would be discarded items to create these art cars would really appeal to you.

agusfanani from Indonesia on June 26, 2018:

Hi Peggy W,

That's a very interesting place to visit. I love cars and amaze ones that are well maintained so that they are still functional despite their age. I wish I could visit this museum and see The Flintstones' car in person. :))

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on June 26, 2018:

Hi manatita,

The primary difference between the Beer Can House and the Art Car Museum is that the former one was created over the course of many years by one man who had a vision. The Art Car Museum features many different artists and the venue always has new things on display. This is but a small sample of what there is to see in Houston.

manatita44 from london on June 26, 2018:

A short one Peggy. Some how I love the Beer Can story a lot more, although in some ways they are both creative. Houston has a lot of things to see. I'll look you up next time. Lol.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on June 25, 2018:

Hi Jackie,

Art cars are quite commonly seen down here and it is always fun when we spot them. We also have many auto shows and enjoy seeing some of the older models.

Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on June 25, 2018:

I don't think I have ever seen an art car and I would love to. I do go to auto shows to see the old ones and have a lot of photos but I am very jealous of this. Very good!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on June 25, 2018:

Hi Pamela,

This is a fun museum to visit. Because of the frequent changes of art as well as the different art cars on display there is always something new to discover.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on June 25, 2018:

Hi Bill,

There are almost endless things to do and see in the Houston area. I'm happy to be able to introduce you to some of them. You are correct about the heat in the late spring, summer and early fall. The rest of the year would be the time to visit for more moderate temperatures. (Smile)

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on June 25, 2018:

This car museum looks like it is truly amazing and unique. I think it would be a fun place to visit. the pictures show a whole different type of art. Interesting article.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on June 25, 2018:

You write so eloquently about Houston, Peggy, it almost makes me want to visit there...but then that heat thing pops up and I come to my senses. :)

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on June 25, 2018:

Hi Mary,

I am not sure that there are other museums like this art car museum here in Houston. We seem to celebrate art cars. For the art car annual parade some school children in art classes get involved in the making of an art car with their teacher's help and advice. It is really fun seeing the art cars out on the streets.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on June 25, 2018:

Hello Heidi,

You can certainly call the Art Car Museum unique. Glad you liked the photos.

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on June 25, 2018:

This is amazing Peggy. I don't think I have been to any art car museum. I am sure this is interesting to see how individuals express themselves in their cars.

Heidi Thorne from Chicago Area on June 25, 2018:

Well, isn't this unique! Thanks for sharing the great pics!