Carnegie enters the Houston Art Car Parade this year with their “Map of Houston” themed art car

Jamie Ford at the Art Car Parade

Buzz Magazine

Jamie Ford at the Art Car Parade

Following a year of cancellation due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the annual Houston Art Car Parade takes place once again on the weekend of May 14-16, hosting Carnegie’s “map of Houston” themed art car. Carnegie has participated in the show for  several years now, but this year was a little different in response to the virus. Instead of the traditional show, having the art cars parade the streets of Houston as crowds of people line up to watch them passby, the event had the art cars parked and stationary as people walked around and admired the cars while also getting to talk to their creators. Only a certain number of people were allowed into the area within a specific time slot to help maintain social distancing and other safety precautions. This year the parade consisted of 80 cars, interactive walking tours, children’s crafts, live music, and food trucks. The Art Car Parade brings the student’s car lots of attention, featuring over 250 entries and attracting 200,000-300,000 spectators. Senior and head manager Alice Fortson tells us a little about its design and meaning.

“The art car theme for this year we decided was Houston. We really wanted to make a car for the city that really kind of showcases all the different pieces of it, so all throughout the year we sent out different surveys asking kids from Carnegie, when you think of Houston what do you think of? And then from there we kind of took those things and we made a map of Houston on the car, and we collaged a bunch of maps together, and then took pinpoint locations of the different places that people said that they loved or the different things that make Houston, Houston, and stuck those on the car. So the art car itself kind of looks like a gigantic map,” said Fortson.

It was Fortson’s job to “figure out the creative side” of the car and delegate tasks to her team: CVHS seniors Eric Aragon, Mario Garcia, and a group of volunteers. Volunteer Justin Terrell mentions that students from all grade levels came to help out with the car, sometimes having 10 people working on it at once. Starting its production at the beginning of the year, it took the group about 5 months to complete. 

“At first it was like, three times a week [working on the car] and then it was like five times a week and I was up there every day, because it was getting closer and closer to the due date,” said Terrell. 

From right to left, Eric Aragon, Justin Terrell, Mario Garcia, Alice Fortson via The Buzz Magazine

The Art Car presented famous locations like the iconic Houston mural in downtown, Jamie Ford’s (Carnegie’s Art Car sponsor and teacher for the school’s industrial design class, amongst other science classes) special request, the “Be Someone” graffiti bridge over I-45, the museum district, the medical district, and of course Carnegie Vanguard High School.

“For the collage we used regular paper and then like a special glue to seal it to the car. And then for the pins, we cut those out from foam and painted them and they kind of sealed those together. And then there’s also electrical tape around the edges, to kind of just make it look a bit nicer,” said Fortson.

Fortson also mentioned that they took a sufficient amount of time to do maintenance on the car, the school owned Toyota, before decorating. 

The three leaders, Fortson, Aragon, and Garcia, accompanied Ford and took turns with the car during the two day event, showing off their very own work and answering any questions from passerbyers. 

“They [the art cars] were all really nice and a lot of creative out of the box ones that were really cool, and it was very nice to see how our car fit with all the other ones,” said Fortson.


Culturemap via ABC News