Fifteen Lowriders And The Chicano Community Pulled Up To The DMA To Celebrate Artists Guadalupe Rosales And Lokey Calderon.
A variety of Latin music — from cumbia jams to oldies — was the perfect way to view the palette of local lowriders outside the Dallas Museum Of Art.
Visitors walked around to view and take photos of the lowrider’s unique color design, engine motors, rims, interior design and every other small detail they can find. DMA’s display may not compare to the honorable lowrider shows in East LA, but this experience took visitors, old and new to the lowriders, back to its roots — chicano culture.
Beloved local lowrider clubs like Dallas Lowriders and Duke’s Dallas Car Club were in attendance with their own cars displayed in the museum’s Flora Street entrance and Ross Avenue Plaza.
Artist Martha Rincon, also known as Thrive, brought back the iconic 90s mall glamor photoshoots with her Shot By Thrive photo booth. Her original airbrushed backdrop was inspired by East LA artist and educator Guadalupe Rosales’s Drifting on a Memory mural and attracted all those vintage and Chicano-inspired attire.
Visitors also got to draw their own pinstriped designs, the one’s Lokey Calderon specializes in, at the lowrider community mural.
It was a party.
The lowrider celebration was part of the Guadalupe Rosales: Drifting on a Memory mural exhibition that has been on display in museum’s Concourse since January. Rosales collaborated with Calderon, whose recognized nationally for his pinstrip work in Dallas, to create a 153-foot wall installation that resembles a lowrider. The vivid sunset-colored pinstripes painted across Concourse, Rosales’ lightboxes and recorded music brings the experience of cruising in a lowrider to life, but it’s much more than that.
Rosales is well known for documenting Latinx experiences with her expansive collection of archives on Latino underground subcultures through her project Veteranas and Rucas on Instagram. Her account inspired many to submit their throwback photos and share stories of growing up in California — allowing her followers to connect or reconnect with them.
At an artist talk in the museum’s Horchow Auditorium, Rosales and Calderon discussed collaborating on the mural with the crowd. Rosales said she wanted to convert the Concourse space into a lowrider mural and wanted to make sure the design, curves and shape of the mural followed an example of a lowrider-designed car. That’s when Rosales contacted Calderon, who is well known in the Dallas lowrider community.
Rosales grew up in East LA watching lowriders pass by her neighborhood, while Calderon was inspired by his brother Oscar’s shop and love for lowrider culture.
‘Every time at night there were [lowriders] cruising down the street and I pretty much grew up watching these cars since I was a kid,’ Rosales said.
The mural installation also includes a see-through window with a disco ball that resembles a lowrider’s rear windshield. The velvet upholstery interior design was designed Calderon’s brother.
“It’s what you would consider the classic lowrider from like the 70s and 80s — even into the early 90s,” Calderon says. “You had velvet interior with the biscuit tuck diamond tuck it all the mirrors in there, you had bleeding wrinkling. I mean so many different, you know, textures with the material.”
Rosales and Calderon discussed the popularity trend of lowriders. Despite it being an up-and-down trend, both agreed the culture is here to stay whether it’s popular or not.
“This is our lifestyle, and this is what we do,” Calderon told the crowd. “Day in and day out we think about it, we eat about it”
Drifting on a Memory will be showcased until July 10.
All photos by Juan Betancourt.