Things are moving along!

Today we’re getting a lot of interest in the museum and people actually wanting to visit due to today’s cover page article on MSN written by Claire Martin.

Land Yacht by Eric Lamb arrived April 21, 2009
Land Yacht by Eric Lamb arrived April 21, 2009

We currently have 18 vehicles, including the most recent to land here, the “Land Yacht,” by Eric Lamb! 6 of the vehicles are on tour for the remainder of the year with the new film I spent 13 years making, “Automorphosis” Thus the museum progress will be a little slower this year. I am hoping to work on another 16 feet of the roof this winter. We are currently half way done with the new roof. After that gets done likely end of 2010, we will begin work on the floor and the design work. It will take at least a few more years to complete, and this will depend on how much money we can raise.

If you want to make an appointment to visit, try back in the winter since we will be touring with the film through November to raise awareness. The film does end with the Art Car World Museum so it will be getting the word out.

We have done a lot since 2005, but we still have a ways to go!

Thanks for your interest

Joshua Tree

Sunday continued positively despite the rough trade in Oro Grande, and we headed off to Joshua Tree under very pretty, overcast skies.

First stop: the Integratron. We were invited there by Bonnie & George Kopp, who own the True World Gallery in Joshua Tree. The Kopps met Gretchen and Kate in Bisbee (both ArtCar artists), who told them about our trip. Not only did they arrange with Nancy, The Integratron owner, for us to get a free sound bath, they also fed us lunch. Our reception was grand and the ArtCars were parked around the Integratron dome. The Sound Bath was very relaxing “ lying on our backs looking up at the beautiful ceiling listening to music played on 9 quartz crystal singing bowls. The building itself was evidently designed to be part of a giant, hybrid-tesla-coil machine, which would alter matter in the manner of the Philadelphia Experiment. Its creator, George Van Tassel, did not finish it.

Lunch was great too, and we met some local artists including Bobby Furst, who really dug the aged patina of Daisy Singer and invited us to his studio.

Before that, however, we headed off to the amazing outdoor museum of Noah Purifoy. Seven acres of amazing assemblage, and it looked better than ever as obviously some refurbishing had recently taken place. This art installation is kept up by a foundation (Ed Ruscha is a big supporter).

Noah Purifoy was a great artist who worked on this place into his 90s. The ArtCars met him briefly during our 2003 tour, and he died shortly after that. It’s hard to describe this place, except to say it’s some of the best found-object sculpture on the planet, covers a large space out in the desert, and that you can’t see everything in one visit. Photos really don’t capture it, although it’s hard to take a bad picture here.

After communing with Noah for an hour or so, we meandered over to Bobby Furst’s studio, which is in a idyllic location next to the entrance of the national park. He’s got a ranch house, silver Quonset hut, and an airstream there – all of it chock full of cool found objects and sculpture. Inside his studio, massive beams hold up a loft room, and his bathroom is covered in copper. It’s a palace of Elastic Symbolism.

As if we weren’t already overwhelmed with a full day of visual beauty, the skies formed an amazing backdrop for all the art we saw. Lenticular clouds hung like UFOs all day, and then as the sun set it the sky exploded with color.

We floated off to our campsite in the big rocks, intoxicated with all that we saw.

Route 66 Bottle Forrest

Sunday 2/18/07

We all got up early and headed off to Elmer Long’s Bottle Tree Forrest in Oro Grande, right on route 66. It’s a great installation. The bottle trees function as very beautiful pedestals for his assemblages, which are mounted on the top.

Elmer says he discourages donations because he’s happy. His wife, Linda, is happy too (Elmer does the dishes). I told him I’m retired from my day job to do assemblage full time and (do the dishes) too. It’s the way to be.

As is often the case with eccentric artists (like ArtCar folk) Elmer was welcoming, lucid, and articulate and his good vibe was infectious. Completing the analogy was Elmer’s dog, Charlie.

We went down route 66 a piece and stopped at the first service station at Oro Grande Center. It didn’t have restrooms so we walked across the street to a park with public bathrooms, but were immediately confronted with friendly, but quite sleazy park denizens. Raya tried to use the ladies room but a lady in there was shouting “Hello” Theresa is that you?” “hello?” Raya tried to communicate at first, but then decidedly wisely that the woman was circling the airport and the ladies room was out of order. Theresa, in fact, was outside accosting a gentleman who was trying to compliment our cars. Half his nose had been shot off or bitten off (not recently). He tried to brush her off:

Nose-man: “Why don’t you leave me alone?”

Theresa: “Why don’t you leave this park alone?”
“Can you PLEEZE not get in a fight do DAY!”

It was clear from her intonation and his face that she was referring to fisticuffs with strangers not squabbles with her. It wasn’t the only hint that we needed to vamoose so we started to mosey, but just at that minute Ken wandered into the men’s room so we all spent an uncomfortable couple of minutes chatting with half a dozen tweaked out desert rats.

ArtCars head into the desert . . . Day 1

Like I said in the last post, 8 Humans and 5 dogs.

– Marilyn Dreampeace & Sammy the dog in Wet Dreams
– Emily Duffy & Meela the dog in the Vain Van pulling a trailer
– Ken Duffy in the Mondrian Mobile
– Philo Northrup w/Raya Miller plus dogs Huckleberry & Dancer in Daisy Singer
– Jake Goldstein & John Merlie in Von Tiki will be coming as far as Joshua Tree
– Charlie Russell and Plato the dog in Cinnabar Charm will meet us in Joshua Tree

— Rebecca Caldwell Hellborne will meet us somewhere in the desert in Carthedral.
— Darrick Servis and Tank Grrl will meet us in Douglas in a mundane rental car they’ll festoon with magnets.

The rendezvous was supposed to be Pea Soup Andersons – it’s one of those really cheesy roadside affairs with bad food and a huge gift shop. In true Philo form I went the wrong way on the freeway and missed it, so we met down the line a bit. Turns out Pea Soup Andersons was closed due to a fire anyway.

The Von Tiki, our full service Mobile Tiki Bar, drove into the T & A (truck stops of America) hoping for a grand entrance but an exploding truck tire on a big rig upstaged it. Nonetheless, they came prepared with a windshield wiper container full of tequila, and new saloon doors that were also aquariums replete with fish. Marilyn Dreampeace added leopard disco boots that had fish tank heels. We’re ready for camping.

Once we got off the interstate the drive turned beautiful. The 58 took us through rolling green hills spotted with boulders. Trains paralleled out route and their tracks passed through tunnel after tunnel in order to climb 4000 feet. It was so picturesque that a photo of it would surely look like a Lionel set. As we watched them go in and out of three short hillside tunnels and wobbly prop plane dove right at us. As it veered directly towards the Vain Van we realized that an airstrip started just a few yards from the road. It cleared our caravan by only 100 feet or so. Planes, trains and automobiles . . .

As the sun lowered we were treated to pink hilltops peaking through purple mountain ranges, and buildings on hilltops that looked like foreign legion castles with 8-foot thick adobe walls. As we get closer to Edwards Air Force Base the mountaintop buildings turn to steel.

As always the ArtCars receive a constant stream of thumbs up and smiles as we drive. My Favorite was a van driving by our caravan holding up a hand-made sign (magic marker on ripped cardboard) that said “Love Your Car!” At the Firebaugh rest stop someone says they saw these cars at the San Jose Museum of Art.

Ken Duffy says over the CB that he saw the other Mondrian Car in Berkeley in the parking lot at work. He works at Oracle, or at least the company he works for was bought by Oracle. The “other” Mondrian car was made by a local artist that didn’t participate in events. She asked to be taken off the ArtCar mailing list about nine years ago and no one reported seeing it so I assumed it was junked. Turns out a technical writer at Oracle (Ken is also a technical writer at Oracle) bought it five years ago wants to bring it to ArtCar shows. Just as Emily’s Mondrian goes into Arizona retirement, we get a replacement Mondrian!

ArtCar tour from Berkeley to Douglas, AZ

Saturday, Feb 21, 2007. Five ArtCars containing eight humans and five dogs will be setting out on a tour of art sites in the desert. Our destination is Art Car World in Douglas, AZ, where a new museum dedicated to ArtCars is taking shape.

Along the way we’ll pick up more ArtCars, humans and dogs, and we’ll also visit some kids at the Sunshine Residential Homes and the Southeastern Arizona Youth Advocate Leadership Retreat.

Saty tuned for some writing of how the trip is going and what we discover. We’ll also have some great photos to share.


Philo Northrup &



Art Car Museum, A new adventure

12-17-06 It is an exciting time to have a blooming energy towards making a home for art cars. I have noticed that it’s not just myself that is going through a period of transition – a lot of art car makers are either moving onto making other art cars or moving on to completely different things. I am looking forward to seeing what we all end up doing. I’ll keep posting updates as they come in.
-Harrod Blank