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Here's an excerpt from the Orange Show's art car curriculum guide. For more information about how to get a copy, contact the Orange Show at 713-926-6368 or send email to orange@insync.net

What is an Art Car?

Art cars or art mobiles usually begin their lives as an older or used vehicle (car, truck, van, bus, jeep, golf cart, etc.). The owner of the car decides they want to alter their automobile, not necessarily converting what's under the hood (unless it is a lowrider.)* but instead transforming the exterior/ interior of the car. To what degree and how this transformation is made is entirely up to the imagination, skills and resources of the car owner.

There are a variety of ways to make an art car:

  • Some people approach the alteration of their cars cautiously and tentatively, opting to use materials of a temporary nature, such as paper and tape;

  • Some are satisfied with the original shape of the car and decide to simply paint it, treating the vehicle as though it were a canvas;

  • Some people glue thousands of similar or dissimilar objects to their automobile;

  • Some decide to radically change the original structure of the vehicle so that it in effect becomes a moving sculpture; Some use a destructive approach, removing things from the outside of their cars, exposing the inside;

  • And others employ a totally radical approach, removing the existing frame and building their car a brand new frame.

Why Would Your Class Make An Art Car?

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There are lots of reasons why your class would consider making an art car.

When children create art cars:

  • They participate in community events (parades) and traditions, and thereby become part of that community;

  • And by participating in these community events they develop a greater sense of pride in themselves, their schools and their immediate community;

  • Their concept of the world expands beyond the bounds of their immediate community;

  • They learn to concentrate and pay attention to details;

  • They learn to have pride in their accomplishments as a group and as individuals;

  • They learn to set long term goals and then achieve the satisfaction of reaching those goals;

  • They master problem solving skills and develop discipline;

  • They discover the value of teamwork;

  • They develop a greater understanding of conflict resolution and compromise;

  • They learn to appreciate the freedom of expression a project of this nature provides;

  • And most importantly, they gain a greater sense of self.

As an educator, you know that when a children develops these skills, they can rule the world, have fewer discipline problems, take pride in themselves and their work and become better students.

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Last update April 1, 2004