Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Have You Seen The Ant Car?

One of the things I enjoy the most on a sunny afternoon is wandering around Lynchburg looking for suitable objects to photograph.

I first saw the Ant Car at Get!Downtown this year. It was pretty dark and I was disappointed at how my photo of the car turned out.

The Ant Car was created by David Schwartz, a philosophy professor at Randolph College.

Schwartz had been a spectator at the Houston art car parade in the 1990s while attending Rice University. After discussing the idea of a bug car with some of his students, Schwartz took the plunge.

Work began on the Ant Car in 2004 and the car was completed in 2005, with help from some of Schwartz' Philosophy of Art students. Schwartz entered the Ant Car in the Houston art car parade in 2005, where the car was awarded third in show.

One early fall afternoon, I stopped to wander through the Dorothy Bliss Botanical Garden at Randolph College. The garden is a haven of beauty just off Rivermont Avenue.

After I parked my car on a side street, I noticed the Ant Car parked in a nearby parking lot.

I didn't get the opportunity to look at the detail on the car at Get!Downtown but I spent about 10 minutes taking photos in the parking lot.

According to Schwartz' website, the Ant Car is covered with ants made of steel, grass made of tin and leaves and vines made of roofing copper.

The ant mound on top of the car was made from Bondo.

It's amazing that the many artifacts on the Ant Car have remained attached for nearly 10 years, despite the car being driven at highway speeds.

Many of the ants carry objects in their mouths including a mouse and an oversized twig.

There are also ants carrying a bumblebee and even the Statue of Liberty and the Eiffel Tower.

The Ant Car is an amazing work of art, paying tribute to the lowly ant.

On his website, Schwartz shares many facts about ants.

The life expectancy of ants is only 45 to 60 days; however, ants accomplish a lot in their short time on earth.

Ants can lift 20 times their own body weight. Although an ant couldn't really carry the Eiffel Tower, the ant in the photo does a pretty good job holding this statue in its mouth.

The Eiffel Tower ant is probably my favorite piece of work on the Ant Car.

As a child, I lived in France for a year while my Dad was stationed there.

In one of my memory boxes, I have a similar statue of the Eiffel Tower.

Upon closer examination, I discovered that there are also ants inside the Ant Car.

Ants scurry up and down the driver's seat. I'm not sure I could drive a car while sitting in a seat covered with ants.

The dashboard is covered a hodgepodge of butterflies, lizards and crabs. If you are unable to view the Ant Car closeup, visit the website.

At the Ant Car website, you can take a virtual tour of the car, learn more about the building of the car and see photos of the Ant Car at recent art festivals.

The Ant Car is a great work of art. If you have the opportunity to examine it more closely, be sure to take advantage.

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