The art car/mutant vehicle project is a hands-on arts education effort where folks can learn, practice, and teach new skills for making large-scale, mobile art. We take the vehicle to Burning Man each year, as well as select regional burns and the Houston Art Car Parade.
The vehicle is built on the frame of a 1995 Chevy Tahoe, and for the past three years, we have redesigned it annual to fit the current year’s Burning Man art theme based on suggestions from the community:
- 2018: “Come On Baby Lick My Battery” featured a large to-scale model of a 9-volt battery for the I, Robot Burning Man art theme.
- 2017: “Tree of Life” featured a large multi-colored tree rising up from a bushy hilltop for the Radical Ritual Burning Man theme.
- 2016: “Up 2: Electric Boogaloo” featured a Da Vinci aerial screw sitting on a wooden museum platform.
Everyone is welcome to work on the car, regardless of skill level. Design and skill-building projects have included:
- Using metal grinders to remove the original vehicle body
- Arc welding an angle-iron frame
- Framing, cutting and installing wood paneling and flooring
- Designing, cutting, and installing a weight-bearing wooden deck over the vehicle hood
- Crafting design features such as metal panels, trees, bushes, sails, masts from metal flashing, plastic lighting diffusers, wood, chicken wire, canvas, PVC, and fabric
- Installing LED lighting running on both AC and CD current
- Integrating a marine battery and portable generator
- Installing a new sound system
- Rerouting the vehicle’s exhaust and performing routine maintenance
- Loading and unloading the vehicle from a trailer and preparing it to travel long distances with tarps and ratchet straps