School: The Art Car Cooperative at Houston Community College 

Artist: Ashley Hope

Category: Art Car, Painted Car, School or Youth Group

Base Vehicle: 2006 Ford Ambulance

Year Created: 2021

Featured in Houston Art Car Parade: Never before seen!

From the Artist: The Art Car Cooperative at Houston Community College is a STEAM project that brings together students from across many disciplines in order to design, engineer and construct art cars exemplary of HCC's innovative and collaborative spirit.


For the 2021 Art Car Event, HCC has transformed an ambulance into a narrative of "rebirth after destruction". The idea was conceived by the students after their realization that they were all at HCC after some sort of obstacle. Perhaps it is the character of a community college: The students are grabbing at chances their parents never had, or at second chances they weren’t sure would ever come to them. But always, the idea was about becoming more: ashes to full bloom.


I think the students at Houston Community College don’t just feel this way about their college, but also their city. After Harvey, and now Covid, they are communicating the entire city's will to overcome, to be reborn after hardship. So, through welding, painting, 3D printing, electrical engineering, and more, the HCC art car team created a design that was meant to offer all Houstonians an opportunity to get to higher ground—hence the title of the project: Terra Firma.