Beaded "bug" showcases Native Mexican art on wheels at National Museum of the American Indian

WASHINGTON, DC.- The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian celebrates one of Mexico’s indigenous communities with the unveiling of “Vochol:Huíchol Art on Wheels” in the museum’s Potomac Atrium Tuesday, March 20. This singular piece combines Huíchol culture with a pop-cult icon, the Volkswagen Beetle. Two families of Huíchol artisans devoted more than 9,000 hours transforming the “canvas”—a 1990 Volkswagen Beetle—into a stunning juxtaposition of modern machinery decorated with bright, psychedelic patterns and colors. More than 2 million glass seed beads and nearly 35 pounds of fabric, paint, yarn and resin adorn the vehicle’s chassis and interior, including the seats, steering wheel and dashboard. It is the first Huíchol object of art on wheels. Its name derives from “Vocho,” a slang term for the VW Beetle in Mexico, and “Huíchol,” the common name for