FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 17, 2016
Lowriders are the theme this summer in Santa Fe, with two groundbreaking museum exhibitions, an over-the-top Lowrider Day on the Plaza, and months of lowrider programs.
First up is the exhibition, Con Cariño: Artists Inspired by Lowriders at the New Mexico Museum of Art: It takes a special vision and a lot of hard work to transform an abandoned car into a one-of-a-kind sculpture on wheels, but that’s exactly what makes New Mexico’s lowriders so special – works of art in their own right, inspiring artists working in other mediums – photography, painting, sculpture, and video – all demonstrating lowriders’ importance as a rich subject for artistic inspiration. Con Cariño: Artists Inspired by Lowriders opens at the New Mexico Museum of Art with a free-to-the-public reception on Friday, May 20, 2016, at 5:30 pm, and is on view May 21 through Oct. 9, 2016.
A full summer of activities swirls around the lowrider exhibits at both the New Mexico Museum of Art and the New Mexico History Museum.
Scheduled Events for Con Cariño: Artists Inspired by Lowriders at the New Mexico Museum of Art
Fri., May 20, 5:30-7:30 pm, Public Reception, Con Cariño. An evening of art, music, and refreshments celebrating the exhibition opening. Check out Rose B. Simpson’s lowrider Maria (named for innovative clay artist Maria Martinez) in front of the museum, listen to music by DJ Prairiedog, and make your own paper lowrider. Free.
Sun., May 22, 10 am–5 pm, Lowrider Day on the Plaza. Mayor Javier Gonzales kicks things off on the first official Lowrider Day when he takes the stage in Santa Fe’s historic Plaza to proclaim this “Lowrider Summer.” Meet the people who create these works of art in a day that includes a parade of more than 100 cars from Fort Marcy to the Plaza, car displays on the streets surrounding the Plaza, “hopper” demonstrations, and a series of awards for lowriding participants. DJ Jason Crawford will provide the music, visitors can make art with local artists, and there will be free admission to both of the museum exhibits for NM residents. Free.
Fri., June 3, 5:30-6:30 pm, Artist Gallery Talk: Arthur Lopez. Known for his contemporary approach to the traditional art of the santero, Arthur Lopez incorporates lowriders into his work, conveying the strong interrelationship between lowriders, faith, and New Mexico’s landscape. Lopez and his family also collect work by other artists interested in the lowrider as a cultural icon, several of which are on view in the exhibition. Free
Fri., July 1, 5:30-6:30 pm, Artist Gallery Talk: Luis Tapia. Sculptor and santero Luis Tapia grew up in Santa Fe and began exploring the Hispano folk art of northern New Mexico in the early 1970s. He views his own carvings as an extension of that tradition with the addition of a contemporary sensibility, often touching on the religious, political, and social issues of today. Free
Sun., July 10, 1-4 pm, Family Day: Enjoy free family activities in a festive, creative atmosphere with hands-on art-making and lively 30-minute family tours. Explore the exhibitions, Con Cariño: Artists Inspired by Lowriders and Finding a Contemporary Voice: The Legacy of Lloyd Kiva New and IAIA. Stage your own self-portrait in a dress-up photo booth in the exhibition, Self-Regard: Artist Self-Portraits from the Collection.
Fri., Sat., Sun., July 8-10, Visiting Artist and Community Artmaking: Artist Justin Favela brings his distinctive style to the museum for a three-day residency, working with the community to create a giant paper lowrider to be added to the exhibition Con Cariño: Artists Inspired by Lowriders. Be part of making something spectacular to hang in the museum. No experience necessary, all ages welcome. Free.
Fri., Aug. 5, 5:30-6:30 pm, Artist Gallery Talk: Meridel Rubenstein. Challenged by a suggestion that lowriders were the true craftsmen of New Mexico, in 1979 photographer Meridel Rubenstein ventured to Española to meet and photograph them. Recognizing lowriders as fellow artists she says they changed her own approach to making art. Her portraits of lowriders were featured in the Museum of Art’s 1980 exhibition, The Lowriders, held outdoors on the Plaza alongside a car show. Free.
Fri., Sept. 2, 5:30-6:30 pm, Artist Gallery Talk: Rose B. Simpson. Artist Rose B. Simpson’s interest in lowriders comes from growing up in Santa Fe and at Santa Clara Pueblo near Española, the lowrider capital of New Mexico and arguably the world. Simpson created her own black-on-black lowrider, Maria (named for artist Maria Martinez), and uses the cars in some of her work to shift boundaries of culture and gender. Free.
Fri., Oct. 7, 5:30-6:30 pm, Artist Gallery Talk: Miguel Gandert. Born in Española, Miguel Gandert is known for his ongoing exploration of Indio-Hispano culture in New Mexico. Two of Gandert’s photographs are in the show as are two of his collaborative video pieces, offering a nostalgic lens on the lowrider experience using a contemporary medium. Free.
Lowriders, Hoppers, and Hot Rods: Car Culture of Northern New Mexico
Next, and just across the street at the New Mexico History Museum, is Lowriders, Hoppers, and Hot Rods: Car Culture of Northern New Mexico: Take a ride into the creative reimagining’s 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 is open now through March 5, 2017. The exhibition focuses on 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 stunning images and visitors will see 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 thrill ride doesn’t stop there.
Scheduled Events for Lowriders, Hoppers, and Hot Rods: Car Culture of Northern New Mexico at the New Mexico History Museum
Sun., June 19, 1:30–3:30 pm, Community Day and Families Make History workshop. Design and paint a miniature metal car and learn about the science of motion by experimenting with a DIY car propelled by air. At 2 pm, noted author and activist Denise Chávez speaks on chicanas, lowriders and the differences between southern and northern New Mexico. Free to NM residents; children free daily.
Sun., July 17, 1:30–3:30 pm, Families Make History monthly workshop. Are you ready to “Low Write”? Learn to write your name lowrider style, listen to car-inspired poetry and write your own with northern New Mexico poet and artist Tara Evonne Trudell. Free with admission; Sundays free to NM residents, children free daily.
Fri., August 12, 9–10 am: CreativeMornings. Enjoy a talk by Albuquerque’s Rob Vanderslice, internationally known award-winning lowrider car painter. Free.
Sun., August 28, 2 pm, Behind the Locked Doors of General Motors Design. Santa Fe Concorso President Dennis Little, the former head of GM’s design studio, gives a glimpse into creating the cars of the future. Free with admission; Sundays free to NM residents.
Sun., September 25, 2 pm, Growing Up in a Lowrider Community. Photographer Don Usner, whose work is in both museums’ exhibits, talks about his youth in the hotbed of lowrider culture, Chimayó. Free with admission; Sundays free to NM residents.
Oct. 16, Poetry slam. Levi Romero, associate director of Chicana and Chicano Studies at UNM, leads a lowrider slam with young poets. Free with admission; Sundays free to NM residents, children free daily.
Sun., November 20, 1:30–3 pm, Families Make History monthly workshop. Mike Roybal, a primo auto detailer and president of the Latin Dezire Car Club in Las Vegas, NM, shows how to use airbrushes to paint flames on paper. Free with admission; Sundays free to NM residents, children free daily.
Funding for these exhibits and programs has been generously provided by the Museum of New Mexico Foundation, McCune Foundation, and the City of Santa Fe Arts Commission and 1% Lodgers’ Tax.
MEDIA CONTACT Steve Cantrell, PR Manager, 505-476-1144, firstname.lastname@example.org
The New Mexico Museum of Art and the New Mexico History Museum are divisions of the Department of Cultural Affairs. Museum exhibitions and programs are supported by donors to the Museum of New Mexico Foundation and its Director’s Leadership Fund, Exhibitions Development Fund, and Fund for Museum Education. The museums are located across the street from one another on the historic Santa Fe Plaza. For more information the public may call the Museum of Art at 505- 476-5072 or the Front desk at 505- 476-5041. The History Museum may be contacted at 505-476-5200.
Public Relations Manager
NM Department of Cultural Affairs