Joy's B'alam

Artist: Joy Mullett

Category: Art Car

Base Vehicle: 2000 Jaguar XJ8

Year Created: 2017

Featured in Houston Art Car Parade: 2017-2019

From the Artist: Sad but true: Jaguar cars are known for luxurious good looks but have a poor reputation for reliability. Converting one into an art car is an act of optimism in support of art cars everywhere.


My Jaguar art car honors feline jaguars, the most powerful big cat in the Americas. They once roamed up into Texas and Louisiana from South America. As recently as the 1960s, they could be legally hunted here. Aztecs, Mayans and the Inca people deified jaguars in honor of their power, ferocity, valor, and aggressiveness. Artists sometimes depicted their big spotted heads with only a single very large tooth to acknowledge jaws more powerful than those of the African lion.


My art car has individually painted brown and black jaguar spots on a white body that emphasize the curves and dips of my car's body design. On the trunk is a pink hat lady happy to be amid multiple Mayan-style jaguar line drawings. Jaguars, the cat, are in danger of becoming extinct. If you have an opportunity to do so, please act on their behalf.