Longform

Art Car Creators on Parade: Jill Johnson W/Video

The 2013 Art Car Parade starts this Saturday, May 11 at 1 p.m. In this week's cover story "Enjoying the Ride" with story and photos by Chris Curry, we decided to highlight some of this year's entrants. Throughout this week, we'll run posts with video to give you a closer look at these dedicated artists.

Jill Johnson, a Houston Heights native, started building her art car in 2008. The 1982 Chevy Blazer base has now been reclassified "L.I.O.N" which stands for "Like it or not."

She and collaborator Jeff Towns put the car together featuring 12 red hobby horses that flow from the bed. The truck started out as red and white but red and orange were more appealing to Johnson's tastes.

The one white stripe is in memory of Towns, who killed himself in 2009.

Johnson's day job is as a salon stylist, but she knows how engines work and car parts fit together. As for the hobby horses, most came from area flea markets. One came from Houston's own Flower Man, the bicycle-riding, tie-dye wearing man, who's famous for giving out flowers as well as collecting objects of yesteryear.

This year's parade route starts on Allen Parkway and Waugh, travels eastbound, curves around The Heritage Society on Bagby Street, then comes up the other side and makes its way to Shepherd Drive.

Other Art Car video highlights: Randy Blair

Bob Wink

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