Arts / Museums

Houston’s Prize Art Car Draws National Attention — and Major Media Love

Scenes from the Parade

BY // 04.16.17
photography Mike Herrera

Perched upon a bleacher inside the rarefied air of the VIPit tents (truly the best way to experience Houston’s famed Art Car Parade), one could look out and gaze upon all 250-plus art cars with ease, without having to fight for space alongside the general parade route. Given the choice to sit in the shade during a Houston spring Saturday, sip cocktails from Deep Eddy Vodka, enjoy libations from Saint Arnold’s, and nosh upon the finest foods from Picos’ delicious Mexican fare, Antone’s po boys, Fluff Bake Bar goods, Hugo’s, Lee’s Creamery, Tacodeli, and even Raising Cane’s, why choose anything else?

You could run into comedy great and big-time art collector Cheech Marin (this year’s grand marshal) alongside wife Natasha, holding a delightful novelty art car “doobie.” Marin mingled amidst a crowd that included Mayor Sylvester Turner, Orange Show founder  Marilyn Oshman, parade chairs Tracy and Glen Larner, and many more.

The onslaught of art cars was truly dazzling, overwhelming even, but if pressed Rebecca Bass‘s Purple Reign, a fun, beautiful ode to Prince and Sheila E., was the biggest standout (the art teacher at Heights High School’s art car won the Mayor’s Cup, the show’s top prize — and even garnered national attention in the Wall Street Journal to boot). Also loved was a cadre of Little Shop of Horrors-inspired vehicles, a clever Trump-parodying car that featured birds (symbolic of the president’s Twitter habit), the Houston Grand Opera’s floating mouth car, and of course, a trio of slabs whose wheels prominently poked out, trunks popped, playing (presumably edited versions of course) of Houston hip-hop.

A free family-friendly time, one of Houston’s signature events in its 30th incarnation was a day to remember — grabbing the spotlight of a Twitter Moment, even.

The Art Car players: Orange Show president of the board Lynn Mathre, Valerie and Lance Rosmarin, Terry Wayne Jones and Jay Jones, Don Mafrige Jr., Melissa Mithoff, Rocky Mafrige, Ashley Langley, Ernie Manouse, Austin Silva, comedian Mills-McCoin, Penelope and Lester Marks, Jackie Wallace, Dusti Rhodes, Lindsay Rae, Glasstire‘s Rainey Knudson and Brandon Zech, Saint Arnold’s Betsey Wolff, Roberto Anaya, and Susanne Theis.

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