Welcome to Art 120

We serve to create opportunities that celebrate art and engage the general public in and around the Chattanooga area in the wonderful art communities that surround them. Part of this process involves collaboration between arts organizations, educators, and artists to enhance public awareness through the celebration, participation, and education of our rich and vibrant arts community.

Remarkable art deserves a memorable event. 
The main program will be an Art Car Weekend. This free annual event is a chance to bring artists, cultural organizations, and schools together to highlight their work and celebrate art.  This Art Car Weekend will feature artists of all mediums, highlight our community, and provide a public venue for students to present their work alongside professional artists. Our program is inspired by The Orange Show Center for Visionary Art which manages the largest and longest running annual art car event. This past year, 300,000 visitors experienced this event in downtown Houston and 300 art cars came from 23 states as well as Canada and Mexico to participate.

What is an art car?
This functional form of art is basically a kinetic sculpture aka moveable art on wheels.  It can be a car, a bike, or a completely new contraption. An art car can run on fossil fuel as well as greener resources like solar, electric, or even human locomotion. Art cars are created as a way to address social issues, instill community pride, push the limits of technology as well as artistic self-expression.

Why Chattanooga?

Historically recognized as a Geographical hub, Chattanooga reaches out to approximately 10 million people within a 120 minute commuting radius of downtown. This provides a unique opportunity for students, artists, engineers, educators, community organizations, and spectators from the entire southeast region to participate.

Who can participate?

This event is open to artists, educators, community organizations, and schools. Entrants must register beginning in the fall and will have until the week prior to the event to complete their vehicles. The art car weekend is planned to coincide with the 4Bridges Arts Festival in April, 2012. The weekend begins with an art car drag to area schools and will involve several community based events around the downtown area leading up to the parade and award ceremony. We currently have four other public events that will also feature art bikes and cars leading up to the Art Car weekend.

Providing arts education opportunities.
Along with managing this exciting public event, our sustainable program raises funds to assist with art car building workshops. These workshops enable students to work as a team to create a finished art car and serve as a catalyst to encourage learning, incorporate critical thinking skills, instill a sense of achievement, and show these students how they can play a vital role in their community. Art car workshops vary depending on grade level and can cover a range of arts integration and transferrable skills such as social studies, science, mathematics, writing, design, welding, automotive maintenance, upholstery, etc – the opportunities are numerous based on the kind of art car and grade level.

UPDATE: Art Car Maven Rebecca Bass Coming in October.
Maybe you have wanted to build an art car, but had no idea where to begin. In October, our board member at large and IB certified art teacher, Rebecca Bass will be in town to talk about her art cars in the classroom experiences. Over her career, Rebecca has built over twenty cars in her class and many have gone on to become part of permanent art collections in museums around the world. Email: info@art120.org to register for her program.

Did you know?
The second largest art car ever built came from Tennessee. Art professor, Mel Chin, at East Tennessee State University created this kinetic sculpture with his students in 2005. Their entry, Weapons of Mass Distribution, a missile turned mobile homeless shelter won the Mayor’s Cup that year.

Click here to see the article from The Johnson City Press.