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Ricardo Cortez | | lowriderartist [at]

Professional Experience

2022 Creative Ambassador, City of San Jose, San Jose CA

2019-Present Director of Marketing, Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship at Santa Clara University, Santa Clara CA

2009 - 2019 Public Information Representative, City of San José Dept. of Parks, Recreation   and Neighborhood Services, San José CA

Function as brand strategist, marketing manager and lead designer for the department.  

2007 - Present Freelance Designer

2007 Lead Graphic Designer, Main Street Media Group, Gilroy CA


MFA 2015 San José State University, Digital Media Art, San José CA

Dissertation: Technology as a Basis for Cultural Transmission

BFA 2007 Santa Clara University, Graphic Design, Santa Clara CA

Solo Exhibitions

2023 ABC’s of Lowriding Book Release Party and Toy Drive, San Jose

2022 STEAM Con Estilo, San Jose

2015 Paletas, San José State University

2015 1-800-JOAQUIN, San José State University

2015 Sunday Afternoon, San José State University

2014 Funk’d Up, San José State University

2014 Dusic, Foundry at San José State University

2014 Sock it to the Circuit, Electrophonicfunk, San José State University

2013 Diggin’ the Scene with a Gangster Lean, San José State University

Selected Group Exhibitions

2023 Ofrenda Festival featured altar, Gilroy CA

2023 Sacramento History Museum, Sacramento CA

2023 California History Museum, Sacramento CA

2023 Villa Montalvo Art Center Lowrider Art Showcase, Saratoga CA

2023 Hella Quakes Art Show, San Jose CA

2023 Santa Clara County Fair “County Strong”, San Jose CA

2023 Flamin’ Hot, Gallery 1202, Gilroy CA

2023 Ride with Pride Lowrider Bike Display, San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose CA

2022 City Dance, San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose CA

2022 Community over Competition, San Jose CA

2022 Content Magazine Pick-Up Party, Los Gatos CA

2019 “Story and King: San José’s Lowrider Culture” Exhibit, San Jose Public Library, San Jose CA

2019 Latino Art Now!, Macla Arte, San Jose CA

2018 Frida Santisima, The World of Frida, Bedford Gallery, Walnut Creek CA

2017 Notes on Democracy, MACLA, San José CA  

2017 Migration, Art Works Downtown, San Rafael CA

2017 Future Now // Futura Ahora, The Loisaida Center, New York NYC

2016 Minted, ProArts, Oakland CA

2016 Sanctuary, De Young Museum. San Francisco CA

2016 Made in California, City of La Brea, La Brea CA

2015 2015 Student Showcase, De Young Museum, San Francisco CA

2015 Urban Fodder, Rural Encounters, Art Though Graphics and Art Gallery, Berkeley, CA

2015 Rockage, San José CA

2014 Maker Faire, San Mateo CA

2014 Graduate Group Exhibition, San José State University, San José CA

2007 Group Exhibition BFA Thesis Show, Santa Clara University, Santa Clara CA  


2024 San Jose Historical Society United Lowrider Council recognition

2024 Featured Artist, City of San José's OEM & Fire Department Training Center

2023 MLK Library’s 11th Annual LocalLit Featured Author

2023 SJ Creative Economy Awardee
2022 Community Member Recognition, Del Oeste Kustoms

2022 Creative Ambassador, City of San Jose

2018  Honorable Mention Award, Bedford Gallery

2018  Best in Show Pedal Car, NorCal Classic

2016  People’s Choice Award Screen Print Showdown

2015 City of San José Grant via Local Label, City of San José

2014 Graduate Equity Fellowship Grant Award Recipient, San José State University

2014 Heritage Cup Design Award Winner, The San José Earthquakes

2013 San José Jazz Festival Design Award Winner, SJ Jazz

2012 Heritage Cup Design Award Winner, The San José Earthquakes

2011 Pride of San José Award Commendation, City of San José

Publications & Media Mentions

"The ABCs of Lowriding Takes Readers Through the World of Lowrider Culture," CalOnews, December 10, 2020. Available:

Belinda Quesada. (2024, May 2). “The ABC’s of Lowriding,” a children’s book celebrating lowrider culture. by Ricardo Cortez (author). KCXU 92.& FM.

Hotchkiss, S. (2024, May 3). Rare lowrider documentaries screen at MACLA for Cinco de Mayo. KQED.

Fancher, L. (2023, December). Good arts deeds. San Jose artists lifting the community.

Daily Chela. (n.d.). ABC of Lowriding. Retrieved from

NBC Bay Area. (2023, December 4). The ABCs of Lowriding on Comunidad del Valle [Video file]. Retrieved from

Aronica, G.A. (2023). 5 Minute Pitch: The ABCs of Lowriding by Ricardo Cortez

SJSU Newsroom. (2023). Ricardo Cortez and the ABCs of Lowrider Culture. San Jose State University.

Spiro, D. H. (2023). Pop culture for the whole person at Santa Clara. Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities.


Cortez, R. (2023). The ABC’s of Lowriding (1st ed.). Livermore, CA: Self Published.

“Lowrider Culture Is an Important Piece of Mexican American Tradition.” KTVU FOX 2, KTVU FOX 2, 29 Sept. 2023,

Art Meets Automobiles in San Jose. (2023, June 9).

Peters, L. (2023, May 8). Critics blast San Jose Cinco de Mayo offramp closures, extra police as racist. KTVU.

Wong, K. (2023, April 28). Skyline shines. Retrieved May 4, 2023, from

(2022). California ends cruising ban that targeted Chicano low-rider culture. PBS.

(2022). San Jose invests big in public art. San Jose Spotlight.

Telemundo 48. (2022, September 1). Conductores de autos Low Riders celebran en San José [Video]. YouTube.

Pizarro, S. (2022, September 1). San Jose Mercury News.

(2022). Last 'No Cruising Zone' sign comes down in San Jose, lowrider community celebrates historic change. ABC 7.

Content Magazine. (2022, July 29). Ricardo Cortez 14.4 [Video]. YouTube.

Garcia, D. (2022, August 1). Ricardo Cortez. Content Magazine.

KTVU FOX 2 San Francisco. (2022, July 29). Lowrider culture honored: San Jose lifts 30-year cruising ban [Video]. YouTube.

(2022). Science, Engineering, and Lowriders? This Program Will Teach Your Kids With Cultura. Project Pulso, Instagram.

Griffy, L., & Young, S. (2022, May 5). High Road, Low Ride. Santa Clara Magazine.

[Interview] Trujillo, D. (2022). Part 1: San Jose's Creative Ambassador, on Comunidad Del Valle. Comunidad Del Valle.

[Interview] Trujillo, D. (2022). Part 2: San Jose's Creative Ambassador, on Comunidad Del Valle. Comunidad Del Valle.

(2022). Ricardo Cortez Named 2022 Creative Ambassador. SCU Art & Art History.

[Interview] Chuyang, A. (2022, March 24). 13 questions with creative ambassador Ricardo Cortez. SJ Today.


Kraft, C. (2019). Dad Builds Incredible Low Rider Pedal Car For Daughter. Make Magazine.

Kraft, C. (2019, October 31). Make Magazine.

Pizarro, S. (2019, January 16). San Jose's Lowrider History Finally Gets the Spotlight. San Jose Mercury News.

Barnes, R. (2017, September 1). Smart Jukebox. The MagPi, 69.

2017 1969 Wurlitzer Jukebox Revitalization @Raspberry_Pi #PiDay #RaspberryPi. [Blog]  Available at: piday-raspberrypi/

(2017). 1960s jukebox modernized with an Arduino Mega. Arduino.

(2017). Tijuana Rick’s 1969 Wurlitzer Jukebox revitalisation. Raspberry Pi.

(2017). Despite Censorship Row, a Show Connecting Immigrant Rights and Police Brutality Goes On. Hyperallergic.

(2016). Recent art school graduates display their work in Oakland gallery. OaklandNorth.

SJSU. (2016, June 3). Paletas. Minted, 16. (2015). Paletas: Art installation portrays the non-stereotypical lives of immigrant families. Adafruit.

(2015). Videojuego funky. Danzeria Mag.

(2015). Funk’d Up: The Funkiest Arcade in the World. Insomniac. funkiest-arcade-world

(2015). Remix Funk Music in Tijuana Rick's 8-Track Arcade Game. Vice.

Pizarro, S. (2013, August 12). Pizarro: San Jose graphic designer makes mark with Jazz Fest T-shirt. San Jose Mercury News.

Invited Speaking Engagements / Presentations / Workshops

2024 Youth Art Workshop at History Park, San Jose CA

2024 Artist talk, DeAnza College, Cupertino CA

2024 Lowriders Education, California School for the Deaf, Fremont CA

2024 Cinco de Mayo Panel, SJSU Centro for Chicano Studies

2024 Chicano Studies, DeAnza College

2024 Chicano Studies, SJSU

2023 SCU Alumni Series, The ABC’s of Lowriding

2023 SJSU Chicano Studies Lowrider History

2023 Villa Montalvo Art Center Lowrider Panel Discussion, Saratoga CA

2023 Raza Unida Fest Sketch Walk with artist Suhita Shirodkar
2023 Ride Conference Workshop, Skyline College

2023 Exploring San Jose, California Now Podcast

2023 Lowrider Showcase at Private School is Possible launch, Santa Clara University

2023 Lowrider History and Culture in San Jose, San Jose State University

2023 History of San Jose Lowriding, Overfelt Highschool
2023 Alumni Exchange Speaker Series, Santa Clara University

2023 LEAD Scholars 20th Anniversary Celebration, Santa Clara University

2023 ART 100 Guest Lecture, Santa Clara University

2022 Lowride Worldwide Podcast

2022 SCU Raices

2022 Art and Lowriding Workshop, Carolyn Clark Elementary

2022 Lowrider Studies Conference 2

2022 SJSU Chicano Studies 1 & 2

2022 Cruising Ban repeal celebration keynote address, San Jose City Hall

2021 The Globalization of Lowriding, Google

2019 SJSU Paseo Project class guest speaker

2018 Alumni Guest Speaker, Santa Clara University Art Department

2015 What is a Chicano New Media Artist?, San José State University

2014 Professional working artist, San José State University

2014 Introduction to CSS, San José State University

2013 Convocation Remarks, River Glen Middle School


United Lowrider Council fo San Jose Board Member

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Liaisons Santa Clara University

California Association of Public Information Officials

NorCal City/County Webmasters

Academic Service

2023 LEAD Scholar Adivsor, Santa Clara University
2016 Adelante Mentor, San José State University

2015 Editor Switch Magazine, San José State University

2014 Art Director, Shift Magazine, San José State University School of Journalism

Academic / Teaching Appointments

Santa Clara University

        Adjunct Lecturer, 2023, Fall LEAD Seminar

San José State University

Adjunct Professor 2015 - 2017, Art 74 - Intro to Digital Media Art

Teaching Associate 2014, Art 74 - Intro to Digital Media Art

Teaching Assistant

2014, Art 74 - Intro to Digital Media Art

2013, Art 174 - Intro to Game Studies

City of San José

2009 -2019, Web Content Management System Trainer  


2023 Villa Montalvo Art Center Lowrider Art Showcase, Saratoga CA

2017 Curator, City of San José Employee Arts Program, San José CA

2016 Curator, City of San José Employee Arts Program, San José CA

Prepared to teach

Micro computing for art (Arduino and Raspberry Pi), History of new media as a foundation of digital media, Theory/principles of new media, video art, sound art, Net.Art as art form, Interactive sculpture, Digital remediation,  Hypermedia, Coding as art, Projection mapping, and Physical hacking for art.

Areas of knowledge

History of Lowriding, Theory, and history of new media, theory, and concepts of graphic design, Python programming, Arduino programming, Raspberry Pi, Linux environments, HTML, CSS, Javascript, PHP / MySql Database, WordPress development, MAX Interactive programming, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign, Adobe  Dreamweaver, Adobe Premiere, sound editing, video editing, Microsoft Office Suite, Mac, and PC platforms,  Online student learning management systems (CANVAS, eCampus), website content management systems,  various fabrication skills (wood, metal, resins, electronics), disaster response communications,  written and spoken Spanish.

Research interests

The integration of microcomputers as a means of creating new and innovative artworks. Exploring the possibilities of digital media as a way of highlighting specific aspects of cultural identity. The remediated human experience via 3D and augmented reality.