Lowriders Hanging High


Wander into the Palace of the Governors’ entrance and you’ll get a taste of the renovations being planned for our favorite National Historic Landmark. The front desk has been converted into a smaller, more appropriate size, clad in copper and topped with granite. On the walls, you’ll see a contemporary take on New Mexico’s Hispanic culture.

A few of Jack Parsons’ images of Northern New Mexico lowriders make up a temporary exhibition that also celebrates the Photo Legacy Project. As dreamed up by the Palace of the Governors Photo Archives, the project collects the works of contemporary photographers. Parsons was an early and eager contributor.

The photos on display first appeared in the 2005 Museum of New Mexico Press book, Low ’n Slow: Lowriding in New Mexico, by Parsons, Carmella Padilla and Juan Estevan Arellano. Through Parsons’ images, Padilla’s essays and Arellano’s slang-style dialogues, the book explored the lowrider lifestyle in ways that honored its dignity.

“The lobby area is the first step of a larger effort to freshen up the Palace’s rooms,” museum Director Frances Levine said. “Jack’s photos give it color and liveliness while underscoring the Palace’s 400-year-old tie to Spanish culture in the United States.”

Parsons, who lives in Santa Fe, won a 2006 Governor’s Award for Excellence and Achievement in the Arts. His work can be seen in numerous books, including Dark Beauty and Santa Fe Style.