By Joe Hale Haden
My Art Car addictions began in the late 80’s, when I heard about a parade of ART on cars then a friend invited me to the Art Car Ball. After that, I didn’t hesitate to join in on the fun. My first Art Car Parade was a blast, and they even gave me a trophy for my efforts; I was hooked! For many years I entered the parade as a skater, then helped on group projects with other skaters, which lead to doing several cars together with the skaters, and eventually leading to doing my own Art Cars. There’s nothing like chopping up a car or cutting holes in it, and some years I helped with 6-7 Art Car projects. Working on an Art Car always lets my imagination run wild.
Driving an Art Car in the parade is like being shot out of a cannon for an hour and a half; what a great adrenaline rush! It also gave me a deadline for a huge project. Each year I had to do something new and completely different, so each year got harder and harder to be original, but my imagination has never let me down... even after 30 years. Driving an Art Car on a daily basis is a complete world of its own; everyone’s your friend. Panhandlers don’t ask me for money, instead, they want to talk to talk about the car. In an Art Car, I’ve never had concerns about being in neighborhoods where I might otherwise be worried. The best part is that you can instantly find your car in a big parking lot!
Through the years, winning not only 1st, but 1st & 2nd place Art Car in one year was one of my most amazing experiences! I have missed the parades scheduled for 2020 & 2021 but I’m hopeful for 2022, and I have a great idea and car waiting.