A Guide to Visiting the Art Car Museum

If you’re in the Houston area, you can visit the Art Car Museum. It has four featured exhibits to show off the history of the art car phenomenon.
Written by Payton Ternus
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
Updated on Jun 27, 2022
The Art Car Museum in
offers four exhibits showcasing the history of the art car: The Car Show, The Open Call Show, In Loving Memory, and The Works of Brian Zievert and Danilo Stampalija. The goal of the museum is to bring awareness to cultural, economic, personal, and political dimensions in the world of art.
Founded in February of 1998 by Ann and James Harithas, the Art Car Museum features art cars from the U.S. and abroad spanning the last century. The art car movement is on full display, reflecting the desire and drive for individual rights and independence.
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What kind of exhibits are at the Art Car Museum?

The Art Car Museum features four exhibits of art car displays, each exploring different concepts found within this artistic movement. It’s known as the “Garage Mahal” for a reason!

The Car Show

This first exhibit focuses on cars from Cuba, the 1965 Le Mans, and Daytona’s Hot Rods. This show displays the American ideals of mobility and individuality.
Photographs from Le Mans, France have never been seen before outside of this museum. The exhibit also features videos from the Indy 500, Dragsters, and Texas Mile. Pictures of Cuban cars exude the influence of post-war American auto design.

The Open Call Show

The Open Call Show at the Art Car Museum is an uncurated show open to local artists that happens every year. For the 15th Annual Open Call Show, there was a twist to the theme—What I Did On My Covid Vacation. To cope with COVID-19 lockdowns, the artists used creativity to release the stress of those dark times.
Each artist submitted one piece, and there were a variety of mediums used across the submissions. 

In Loving Memory

Ann Harithas, owner and co-founder of the Art Car Museum, passed away on December 23rd, 2021. She had the vision to bring art cars and the art community to Houston in an inclusive way for all to admire and enjoy. This exhibit is designed to celebrate the life of Ann Harithas, who made her vision a reality when she co-founded the Art Car Museum with her husband, James.
This quote from Ann sums up how her love of art began: “Collage has been part of my life as long as I can remember. My great aunt made her own glue for pasting the images she cut out of magazines into scrapbooks. I used these scrapbooks to learn my first words and from this point, I was hooked. For me, collage is a language and the medium I use to express my thoughts, hopes, and dreams.”

The Works of Brian Zievert and Danilo Stampalija

The Art Car Museum doesn’t just have cars—this exhibition features paintings from artists Brian Zievert and Danilo Stampalija. Zievert’s paintings are a tribute to the expansion of Houston, using an earthy color palette on his trademark oblong canvases.
Stampalija’s work is inspired by the Adriatic Coast in Croatia, where he grew up. He uses watercolors in an almost abstract painting method for his art.

When is the Art Car Museum open?

If you’re planning a trip to the
Art Car Museum
, you can go any day from Wednesday through Sunday between 11:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. The museum is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, so don’t try to visit on either of those days during the week!
Pro Tip Make sure you get to the museum long before closing time—there are four exhibits to see, packed with the history of the art car phenomenon!

How much is admission to the Art Car Museum?

Here’s one major perk to visiting the Art Car Museum—the admission is free! You won’t have to pay to enter the museum, it’s free of charge for everyone of all ages. They do happily accept donations though!

What else is going on at the Art Car Museum?

The 2022 Spring Exhibition at the Art Car Museum is “The Art of Harold Bourdier.” It is only available by appointment, which you can book on their website or over the phone.

Where can I find affordable car insurance?

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