2nd Annual International Lowrider Studies Conference. 2022
Who are the Organizers?
This conference was and is organized by people with a genuine passion for Lowriders and education. This include people from lowrider clubs, youth, teachers, artists and formerly incarcerated people from Utah, California, and throughout the world. This is not a detached academic conference. This is a conference based on story-telling and experiences to appreciate lowrider culture. This conference is not about appropriation, commodification, exoticizing, elitism, or vulturing.
Hosted virtually from Salt Lake City, Utah and San Bruno California.
“Strengthening Lowrider CommUNITY”
means exploring ways to connect the Lowrider culture to community,
history, culture, politics, justice, style, geography, art, music, fashion, education, and other topics surrounding this cultural phenomenon and its global context.
Each session is scheduled for 50 minutes including time for audience Q&A.
For any questions please send an email to
Xris Macias, John Ulloa
Presenter facilitation by
This event has ended.
Registration is closed.
8am-5:30pm Pacific Time USA
9am-6:30pm Mountain Time USA
10am-6:30pm Central Time USA
11am-7:30pm Eastern Time USA
The schedule is based on Mountain USA Time:
Introduction and Welcome
9:00am-9:10am – Xris Macias, John Ulloa
Facilitation and introduction of presenters
Carla is a dedicated community organizer and public health advocate with a passion for empowering the most vulnerable, particularly women and children. At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Carla participated in research assessing the impacts of the pandemic on domestic violence among undocumented women and women of color. She now works for both the Utah Department of Health and Human Services as a COVID-19 health program manager and at the YWCA Utah as a Women in Jeopardy Advocate. Carla also serves as a Board Member at Planned Parenthood Utah. Carla resides in Salt Lake City with her two teenagers and her Jack Russell, Feist. In her spare time you will catch Carla singing, dancing Cumbia, or drinking cafecito with her amigas.
1. Art connects people, but can it relay the traditions of lowriding?
9:10am-10:00am – Ricardo “TijuanaRick” Cortez
Session Abstract: In this seminar, artist, designer, and marketing director Ricardo Cortez aka TijuanaRick will dive into his first-hand experience as a San Jose Creative ambassador and talk about his Lowrider art-making workshops. Over the summer he has led a series of workshops allowing adults and youth to create one-of-a-kind sound-reactive lights (like old-school color bars) embellished with the artwork of the participants. Learn how Ricardo leverages his Chicano roots and passion for community to pass on the tradition of lowriding through the lens of art.
Ricardo “TijuanaRick” Cortez is a Chicano digital media artist exploring the intersections of technology, sculpture, and culture. Through these mediums, he reimagines his Chicanismo suggesting a new approach to studying our active relationships with technology and longing for nostalgia. He continues to exhibit, teach and produce culturally significant work that encourages interaction – inviting the audience to become an integral part of the art. Ricardo currently works at Santa Clara University as a Marketing Director at Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship, is actively cataloging a digital archive of rare lowrider print material, and remains dedicated to his pursuit of service to the community. He owns a 1954 GMC pickup and a 1967 LeSabre (both were his grandfathers passed down)
2. Homegirls guide to modeling on Lowriders
10:05am-10:55am – Madeline Alviso Ramirez, Vanessa Alviso, Laura Rodriguez
Session Abstract: Looking at historical images of Chicanas and Cholas pinups modeling on ranflas. This presentation will discuss lowrider modeling aesthetics and will share tips, tricks and more for our brown and indigenous sisters interested in getting the look down.
Biography: Vanessa “Bashi” Alviso is a Xicana artist, poet, educator. Her work reflects self discovery and preservation through ancestral indigenous and Barrio cultural practices. She is co-owner of Chola Vida Brand, and serves as Internal Vice President of IxChel Executive Board.
Biography: Madeline Alviso Ramirez is the middle child of migrant farm workers and artists, whose work is heavily influenced by her Xicana Chola identity and environment. Her work covers Chicana spirituality and barrio culture, specifically reflective of her Chola community. She’s been documenting barrio culture through art and photography for about 25 years. Alviso Ramirez’s work has appeared in various publications and has inspired scholarship and community identity in both real and digital spaces. She is a published poet and writer and has established herself as a madrina type in the sCHOLAr movement. She is the founder and co-owner of Chola Pinup and Chola Vida and founder and president of IxChel, a non-profit organization dedicated to Chola Scholarship and community projects aimed to support and illuminated the Xicanx barrio community. She resided in Central Washington with her husband Juan and their 6 children.
3. Best Of Show: A Mexica Lowrider Myth
11:00am-11:50am – Junior Jacob M Robinson.
Session Abstract: Lowrider film Making is an important part of preserving the culture.
The latest video is called “Best Of Show: A Mexica Lowrider Myth” Best Of Show is an underdog-story. It is a story about “Justice-for-street-vendors!” hidden in the lowrider dreams and transformation of HUATZIN’S Magical Lowrider paleta-cart. It hints of Chicano-Indigenous storytelling with the Mexican-Hero-Myth of NANAHUATZIN.
Biography: “It is with a great enthusiasm that I send you these humble words. My
name is Jacob “Junior” Robinson and as a native son of Pueblo, Colorado. I am proud to say that I got my start in film/video/broadcasting in Colorado. Since then I have moved on to finish my undergraduate degree at Colorado State University-Pueblo and began media work at a local television station in Colorado Springs. Now completing my graduate degree I am eager to put it to work and make my first feature film in Pueblo. While at USC I was also a friend
with Ryan Coogler the director of Fruitvale Station, Creed and Black Panther, as well as Gerard McMurray the director of The First Purge. They worked on my films and I on theirs. We used to make movies in film school together.”
Optional Brown Bag Discussion –
Lowrider Pedagogy: How educators are using Lowriding in teaching/learning spaces.
Facilitated by John Ulloa
Biography: John Ulloa is Professor of History and Cultural Anthropology at Skyline College in San Bruno, CA. His research examines the global diffusion of lowriding culture from the Mexican-American barrios to various countries outside of the United States including Japan, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, Guam, Saudi Arabia, France, Germany, Russia, Sweden, Denmark, and Thailand. He is an active member of the San Francisco Bay Area lowriding community, and he has owned five lowriders, his current work in progress is a 1973 Buick Riviera boat-tail “Alien Conspiracy.” He speaks regularly on lowriding, and he is the host of the “Lowride Worldwide Happy Hour” podcast.
4. Leadership Lessons Learned from Lowriding
12:55pm-1:45pm – Alejandro R. Vilchez
Session Abstract: This session focuses on the leadership lessons learned from five years of being a member of a local Lowrider Car Club in the SF Bay Area. While much has been written on Lowrider history and culture, little has been published and presented on the experience of lowrider car club membership; it’s requirements, leadership structure, communication and the internal management of its members. Car clubs are about cars but you can’t have a club without people. Despite all members mutual love for lowriding and the culture, my presentation will place a specific focus on the challenges of meeting member expectations while simultaneously dealing with adolescent behavior among grown men. The presentation will conclude with 8 leadership lessons learned during my journey starting as a prospect, to club member and eventually President and VP. It will serve as a guide for those seeking to join a lowrider car club and to those in club leadership who are experiencing internal conflict among it’s members.
Biography: Alejandro’s career has taken him across the spectrum, from direct service provider to fundraising, to senior management. No matter what role he’s in, it’s always one focused on youth development, violence prevention, and community engagement. A master trainer and engaging facilitator, Alejandro delivers presentations that are fun yet focused and equips people to communicate effectively, mitigate conflict and transform their communities. Training and workshop presentations include, “Be a H.O.M.I.E” – Youth & Leadership Development, Restorative Practices & Circles, and “The 10 P’s of Being Papi” – Dads workshop.
Known as “Mr. HOMiE” (Helping Others Move into Excellence) around his local community, he acknowledges young people as they are and helps them see past their current circumstances towards a positive and life-affirming future. Alejandro is native to the SF Bay Area and earned two Bachelor Degrees from Bethany University (Cross-Cultural Communications) and Notre Dame de Namur University (Human Services). Alejandro’s passion for embracing history and culture extends beyond the workplace. In his spare time, enjoys baseball, all things C.S. Lewis and he’s a connoisseur of vintage Cuban music, classic cars, and wing tip shoes.
5. Lowrider Magazine Art history
1:50pm-2:40pm – Joe Hernandez
Session Abstract: In this session, self-taught artist Joe Hernandez shares his beginnings into art at an early age. In 1977, at just 18 years of age he started working for Lowrider Magazine. Here, he was able to see the inner workings of putting the magazine together in the beginning. He worked alongside Sonny Madrid on many art projects for the magazine and Lowrider events throughout San Jose.
Biography: Joe Hernandez, Hispanic, born and raised in San Jose. Was one of the first paid artists to join the original Lowrider Magazine team. He created the very first Lowrider calendar and created the Iconic “Lowrider Man” logo we all recognize today. His iconic style of crisp, detailed lowrider landscape truly defined vision of the Lowrider lifestyle. Throughout school he explored all aspects of art, drawings, watercolors, oils, airbrush, and commercial art. Lowriding, family and friends are the artistic inspiration for his work. He worked as a freelance Commercial Artist in San Jose from 1977-1982. He currently lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico and is still creating art.
6. Lowrider Studies in Higher Education
2:45pm-3:35pm – Dr. Anthony J. Nocella II
Session Abstract: This presentation will discuss and demonstration how Lowrider culture, grounded in Latinx, Chicanx, and Cholx cultures influence student learning, research, and scholarship. Further, this presentation will discuss how to include lowrider studies in one’s pedagogy, curriculum, and professing practices. This presentation is grounded in grounded in two different ongoing projects – The Lowrider Studies Reader and Lowrider Studies Research Project at Salt Lake Community College. This presentation will conclude about how Lowrider studies has been introduced and embraced at Salt Lake Community College, by giving examples.
Biography: Dr. Anthony J. Nocella II, (he/they) (AKA Ant), an international award-winning author, prison educator, former professional mountain biker, long-time professor, and community organizer, is an Assistant Professor in criminal justice and criminology in the Institute of Public Safety at Salt Lake Community College. Nocella, drawing on his experience as a former D.C. lobbyist, Hamline University Law School Fellow, juvenile detention center program director, and manager of numerous bike shops, provides keynote presentations and workshops on intersectional social justice and liberation throughout the world. Nocella is also an editor of the Peace Studies Journal, managing editor of the Green Theory and Praxis Journal, Lowrider Studies Journal, and Transformative Justice Journal, and co-editor of five book series including Critical Animal Studies and Theory with Lexington Books and Hip Hop Studies and Activism with Peter Lang Publishing. Nocella, who regularly writes grants, is the National Coordinator of Outreach of Save the Kids, Executive Director of the Institute for Critical Animal Studies, Director of the Academy for Peace Education, and acquisitions editor of Arissa Media Group. His work has been translated in Spanish, Russian, Portuguese, German, Korean, and Japanese. Anthony owns several Lowrider bikes and is a member of “The Dreamkeepers” car/bike club.
7. Painting who I am
3:40pm-4:30pm – Cory Kaggie
Session Abstract: Telling my story of being a female car painter and how I got to be an artist in a culture where men are usually recognized. I will be showing some pieces and sharing my love for lowriding and other aspects of the culture.
Biography: A true artist, Cory is a recognized female painter in Salt Lake City. Co-owner of “Utah State Collision”. She got started in Lowriding through breakdancing and drawing. They both drew her to the art of lowriding. Growing up, she would see all the cool cars and decided she was going to have one, from there it all began. In order to do things or make things happen you learn to do it yourself. So through hard work and perseverance she dedicated herself to learn the skills. Twenty years later she assists others in making their dreams come true by helping them color coordinate their lowriders. Once they figure out what they envision, she makes it a reality. She is a member of the “Taking Over Car Club” chapter in Utah. They dedicate themselves to the community and to the next generation to come. She helps get kids excited about building bikes. She sets an example to show them of what it takes.
8. Lowriders in the Classroom
4:30pm-5:15pm – Mitzi Ulloa
Session Abstract: How does a lowrider curriculum/unit take shape in a bay area high school? I will share my lowrider unit and my experience teaching high school students in San Francisco
about lowriding cultura. The unit begins with a generative question, “How is lowriding
connected to identity, cultura, resistance and healing?” Leading to a culminating project
for students to build their own lowrider out of cardstock and art materials.
Biography: Mitzi Ulloa- was born in San Pedro California, a seaport town located in the Los Angeles harbor (Tongva Land), raised in Turlock (Yokuts Valley) and migrated to San Francisco (Ramaytush Ohlone ) as a young adult. I am the oldest of eight siblings and a proud
daughter of Immigrant parents. I am the first in my family to attend college and graduate
with a Master’s Degree in Education. Presently, I am a Visual/Performing Arts Teacher
in the Bay Area and I continue to study various art mediums from amazing artists in the
Bay Area, Caribbean and Latin America. I LOVE to CREATE, PLAY and BUILD
CommUNITY through dance and art.
8. Closing / Audience Q&A
Xris Macias is the Director of the ‘Engage U’ at the University of Utah where he works with community outreach and engagement programs, taking academia off campus. He holds a Bachelors Degree in Human Development and Family Studies, and a Master’s degree in Education Culture and Society, where he focused on Lowrider Pedagogy as his area of research. He is also a Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) fellow, with the focus area of Latin America. He has presented about Lowrider history for over 10 years and created workshops for youth engagement including sessions about Lowridings’ connection to indigenous roots. He is a contributor of the newly emerging field of “Lowrider Studies.”
In his personal life, he enjoys watching movies, training Capoeira, and cruising his 1967 Impala “The Academic” on the weekends.
Check out the 2021 conference below