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Art Car driver relishes the strange looks

Photo by Brian Hansel Jan Elftmann showed her "Art Car" to Wadena-Deer Creek Elementary students last week. Elftmann is an assemblage artist.

Jan Elftmann likes people to know when she is coming down the road.

Elftmann drives a Honda Civic that people like to take pictures of with their cell phones as they pass her. She calls it the "Art Car."

The Minneapolis artist was in Wadena last week working with fourth graders at the Wadena-Deer Creek Elementary School and she drove one of her famous cars from the Cities.

Objects of all kinds are glued to all parts of the car -- both inside and out. Elftmann has been doing art cars for 15 years as part of her work as an assemblage artist.

Assemblage is a process in which a three-dimensional artistic composition is made from putting together found objects.

"It's an art phenomena coming on across America," Elftmann said.

Gluing objects to her car is illegal in some eastern states but it is legal in Minnesota.

"I choose them for size, texture and I have to like them," Elftmann said of the objects she glues to her car.

Elftmann's Web site address is