Trinidad ArtoCade – Art Car Parade

| August 1, 2014 | 0 Comments

By Angela Kerr akerr@coloradomusicbuzz.com

“Spike the Big Red Dragon” by Gail & Charlie Holthausen. Photo by Michelle Goodall.

“Spike the Big Red Dragon” by Gail & Charlie Holthausen. Photo by Michelle Goodall.

On a recent trip to Trinidad, Colorado, I had the opportunity to meet Lucky Murphy who just opened L&L Fine Art Gallery on Main Street. Lucky is a mover and shaker in this town. In our discussions of the local music scene and musicians supporting the art walk, he shared a flyer for the ArtoCade on September 12-14, 2014. The flyer featured an art car equipped with ears, lips, and eyeglasses. This was too good to pass up, so I made an appointment with the developer Rodney Wood to see what he was up to.

I met Rodney at his studio, located in his gallery, Galerie Vivante. Rodney explained what ArtoCade was all about, “Artists started participating in the art car parades as an anti-commercial gallery movement by creating pieces of art that are off the wall and not for sale. It is not about the money. Artists are coming from all over the region and the country to share their  car art. It is so refreshing – how much fun and how silly can we be?”

When asked about the history of the event, Rodney stated that it was hard to identify who was responsible for it as the art form dates back as far as the hippie movement.  He added,  “Last year, the first year of ArtoCade in Trinidad, we had 55 entries and this year we are expecting around 75.”

“Women Rock” by Bonnie Blue who will be crowned the 2014 ArtoCade Queen at the festival. Photo by Bonnie Blue.

“Women Rock” by Bonnie Blue who will be crowned
the 2014 ArtoCade Queen at the festival. Photo by Bonnie Blue.

Rodney explained that Houston, Texas, is the leader in these events and the attendance at their last art car parade boasted 300,000 spectators.

“Huge crowds watch the Rose Bowl parade, why can’t the same numbers watch an art parade?” Rodney said. “If we hit 80 cars this year we will be the second largest art car parade in the United States – not bad for our second year and a great thing for this town.”

The idea that this event is community oriented is important to Rodney who has been contracted by the Trinidad Tourism Board to put on the ArtoCade. Instead of bringing in vendors from outside of the city, they are promoting local businesses.

“Although we do bring in acts from out of the area, we try to keep the majority of the collaboration local,” Rodney said.

I had the opportunity to see “Earth, Wind and Fire” a famous art car that was constructed under the tutelage of Rebecca Bass, an art educator from Jefferson Davis High School in Houston, Texas. Rebecca has made one vehicle a year for the last 25 years with her class as she teaches them about the history of Rock and Roll.

Viewing the car is nothing short of amazing. According to Rodney, 25-30 students participated in its creation and that underneath the art is a Saturn station wagon. He further explained that the students learned welding, armature building, carving, and the art of giving.  The car required 35+ cases of silicone caulk adding 800 lbs. to the weight of the vehicle. The only way to believe it is to see it as pictures will not do it justice. There are many more exciting creations which include a fire breathing dragon, the “Stink Bug” decorated bikes, and ATV’s from as far away as Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, Nebraska, Florida, and Texas.

The ArtoCade festivities will get rolling on Friday night with “Vehiculart” – vehicle and art car related art exhibitions in numerous venues downtown from 5:00-8:00 p.m. Next up is CarBash at BRIX, the local sports bar on Main Street. Meet some of the cartists, eat good grub, and rock out to the drivin’ tunes of The Driftin’ Suns who will begin performing at 8:30 p.m.

“Earth, Wind & Fire” (2012) by Rebecca Bass and Jefferson Davis High School students in Houston, Texas. Photo by Rodney Wood.

“Earth, Wind & Fire” (2012) by Rebecca Bass and Jefferson Davis High School students in Houston, Texas. Photo by Rodney Wood.

The ArtoCade parade starts at high noon on Saturday and will travel through downtown Trinidad. For best viewing opportunities, Main Street (between North Animas Street and Elm) is the place to be.  Meet the cartists, view their  art cars, and listen to music by the Traffic Jamboree after the parade at the  “Ogle, Look and Play,” located at the corner of Commercial and Elm. Don’t miss CarDango, from 7:00 p.m. to midnight, a gala/dance/revue/circus at the Sebastiani Gym which will feature Leopard & Vine (a gypsy cabaret), Swelter & Burn (naughty/sultry singers), and various other revue-like and wacky acts.

The ArtoCade is a great way to end the summer. The CREATE team and some of their clients are pitching in to support the event. Hope to see you all there.

For more information about the ArtoCade visit www.artocade.com or contact artcarfun@hotmail.com.

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Category: ARTrepreneurship

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