The Art Cars are Back in Downtown Houston on April 7-10th

Art Cars are back! The Orange Show Center for Visionary Art is thrilled to announce the long-awaited 35th Annual Houston Art Car Parade Weekend presented by Team Gillman will take H-town over April 7-10, 2022 following a two year hiatus due to COVID-19.

The Orange Show’s signature event – Houston’s most iconic and beloved annual celebrations –returns with a vibrant lineup of events and activations that will celebrate and showcase over 250 mobile masterpieces from across the country and engage the public with opportunities to express their personal artistic vision.

Team Gillman, one of Houston’s oldest and most established auto retailers, has taken the lead as the presenting sponsor for Houston Art Car Parade Weekend 2022, marrying two of the city’s most recognizable brands and continuing the tradition of honoring Houston’s creative and entrepreneurial spirit.

Through Team Gillman’s support, the Orange Show Center for Visionary Art will continue to provide Houston with the world’s oldest and largest celebration of its kind in addition to programming ongoing arts education and outreach to spark creativity in young minds across the region.

This year, the Houston Art Car Parade presented by Team Gillman is dedicated to the late Ann Harithas, a leading figure in Texas’ art community whose efforts to support and create new arts organizations impacted generations of Texas artists and creatives.

The Houston Art Car Parade’s grand prize will be permanently named the Ann Harithas Legacy Award and given out annually at<br>the Art Car Awards Ceremony. Harithas was an artist, collector, and curator, who is credited with organizing one of the first public exhibitions of Art Cars in Houston in the early 1980s, resulting in a wave of Art Cars being seen on Houston streets.

Thirty-five years since it started in 1986 as a small gathering of 20 artists and a little over a thousand fans, Houston’s Art Car Parade maintains its place as one of the city’s largest free public events, drawing hundreds of thousands of curious spectators to see, hear and revel in the magic of Art Cars.

This year, the annual Spring event will feature a large contingent of ‘slow, loud, & bangin’ masterpieces – slab cars born out of Houston’s unique contribution to American car culture whose notoriety over the past decade has brought it to the forefront of popular culture – and more than 100 new and never-before-seen Art Cars from around the country like Riders, bike and skater groups, wheeled contraptions, bejeweled roadsters and custom-crafted classics along with the fur-covered, metal-modified, fire-breathing varieties.

Through the Orange Show Center for Visionary Art’s partnership with Houston Independent School District (HISD), Art Car Weekend will also continue its tradition of integrating Art Car-related programming into the curriculum of select schools throughout the district, resulting in dozens of participating schools and youth groups who have designed and built art cars under the instruction of their teachers or mentors.

THURSDAY, APRIL 7:  The Main Street Drag – 9am

Designed to “bring the parade to the people,” the Main Street Drag is an opportunity for Art Cars and their artists to visit schools, hospitals, nursing homes, developmental facilities, and other locations where its residents or attendees may not be able to participate in Houston Art Car Parade Weekend events on their own. A series on “mini parades” will make their way to these locations and the artists will be able to spend time showing off their Art Car, answering questions, and giving guided tours.

Sneak Peek at Discovery Green – 6pm-10pm – Discovery Green, 1500 McKinney St.

Officially kicking off the public viewing opportunities of this year’s Art Cars, the Sneak Peek at Discovery Green lines downtown Houston’s iconic park with nearly 100 art cars and encourages individuals and families to stroll through the promenade and get a first look at what’s new this year.

Held in conjunction this year with Discovery Green’s UHD Thursday Night Concert Series, guests will enjoy music from American Idol contestant Ren Patrick on the Anheuser-Busch Stage, as well as some exciting Art Car-themed programming on the Grace Event Lawn. FREE to attend.

FRIDAY, APRIL 8: The Legendary Art Car Ball – 6pm-11pm – The Orange Show World Headquarters, 2401 Munger St.

Often considered the wildest and most colorful party of the year, The Legendary Art Car Ball draws thousands of art and music loving attendees on the eve of the parade to celebrate with a night of live performances, art installations, elaborate costumes, and hundreds of awe-inspiring illuminated art cars.

This year’s Art Car Ball brings the festivities back to the incredible Orange Show World Headquarters and will feature Austin’s avant-garde space Jazz ensemble Golden Dawn Arkestra, as well as the world premiere of The Suffers’ Kam Franklin’s newest project Bayou City Comeback Chorus. In addition, performance art from Ms. YET and the Renegade Carnies, immersive projection art from INPUT/OUTPUT, as well as sounds from DJ Boogie Soul and Houston’s A.S.S. will thrill and amaze. Tickets start at $35 and are available at

This year’s Art Car “Icon” is the Hot Wheels Knight Draggin’TM, designed by Mattell, Inc’s Design Director of Hot Wheels, Matchbox Die-Cast Bryan Benedict.

The complete lineup of Art Cars will be available on the Houston Art Car Parade website, in advance of Houston Art Car Parade weekend.

Photos: Morris Malakoff