Capturing the Art of the Lowrider Culture
El Paso Museum of History celebrated the sparkly fantastic art of lowriders with its "Low N' Slow" Exhibit.
This weekend came the close of a month exhibit at El Paso Museum of History, “Low ‘N Slow: Lowrider Culture on the Border,” with the help of the celebrating the regional artistic pride taken in the lowrider culture.
Since my last post showed a simple DIYs inspired by lowrider panels, this exhibit offered a wonderful opportunity to show some examples the lowrider style.
In El Paso, Texas according the museum’s description “the lowrider could trace its earliest roots to the 1940s, most notably after the Second World War.”
It most likely began on the West Coast, but once it made its way to “Chucotown,” El Paso residents took it to next level, with fantastic mods, the formation of several prominent car clubs, which really took off in the 1970s and is still prominent today. Somewhere in the area every weekend, you can find an impressive car show, often raising money for a charitable cause. That is the local lowrider spirit mixing creativity, car culture and craftsmanship with community.
A woman's Zoot Suit outfit looks over the classic Buick. The Pachuco/a look of the 1930s and 40s is once again popular today at festivals, parades and car shows.
It would seem easy to just fill a room with several examples of lowriders, but limited space in the museum encouraged the curators to get creative, and see how this particular style of customizing has been utilized in much smaller items. This included lowrider bicycles, trikes, children’s “ride on cars” and table top models. There were two full-sized cars on display, a 1980s Buick Regal and a 1940s Chevrolet Fleetside Aerosedan. The two full size cars featured rotated throughout the exhibit allowing different cars to be highlighted, and giving guests a reason to return more than once.
The entire was set among painted depictions of the underpass murals of Chicano Park (Lincoln Park), where several of the area’s most popular car shows are held.
The result was a brightly hued display of lovingly crafted items bursting with glittered paint jobs, air brushed panel, flawless chrome, and the distinct borderland vibe. All items were on loan from residents of both El Paso, and neighboring Las Cruces, N. M.
The exhibit ended with a special car show and party in the downtown area, but I unfortunately wasn’t able to make it to the fete. I did get a chance to visit the exhibit it’s past week, and very, very impressed.
Here are a few highlights taken by my husband, Rick Tate: