New shows in Phoenix, Mesa

Cars as art?

Trends in the Phoenix subway say yes.

Two exhibits – “Laloland” at the Mesa Arts Center and “Desert Rider” at the Phoenix Art Museum – highlight lowrider culture, a quintessential American art form.

“Desert Rider” runs until September 18 and features art from over 12 Latin and indigenous artists from Arizona and the Southwest. “Laloland,” which fuses lowrider culture with chicane artwork, is open until August 7 and features the work of Phoenix muralist and artist Lalo Cota.

The Lowrider culture originated in Southern California, Texas, and the Southwest after World War II. It was an expression of art, family, and religion within Chicano and Latin American cultures, according to the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Lowrider cars – then and now – are converted and renewed artistic statements.