Lowriders, Hoppers and Hot Rods
Take a ride into the creative reimaginings of American steel as captured in photographs, hubcaps, hood ornaments, car show banners and, yes, actual cars. Lowriders, Hoppers, and Hot Rods: Car Culture of Northern New Mexico, opens at the New Mexico History Museum and focuses on mobile works of art and their makers—home-grown Nuevomexicanos who customize, detail, paint and upholster these favorite symbols of Hispanic culture.
Photo Curator Daniel Kosharek has pulled together an extensive collection of images by Don Usner, Annie Sahlin, Jack Parsons, Sam Adams, Norman Mauskopf, Dottie Lopez, Gabriela Campos, Meridel Rubinstein and others. In addition, the exhibit features a chromed and touchable engine, miniature-scale model-car collections, trophies, memorabilia and other ephemera. The museum lobby will host a rotating selection of cherry examples.
The term “lowrider” refers to either a car whose suspension has been lowered to inches from the ground or the person who drives it. In Spanish, it’s bajito y suavecito, or low and slow. Lowriders, the cars, are built as works of art, expressions of faith, to honor the dead, bring families together, center a marriage, and most importantly, provide a proud ride. Lowriders, the drivers, require the skill of an engineer, the aesthetic of an artist, and the patience of a monk to create highly personalized, one-of-a-kind, mobile expressions. This exhibit runs May 1, 2016-March 5, 2017.