ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Albuquerque’s airport is getting international attention for its art display.

The Sunport's Lowriders and Hot Rods Car Culture exhibit has landed a spot on the latest list of top airport exhibits in the world by the quarterly publication ArtDesk.

The exhibit features an array of photos that depict lowrider culture, several motorcycles and bicycles and two souped-up cars.

The airport also has a permanent collection of dozens of pieces that include Native American, Hispanic and Southwestern works overseen by Max Baptiste, who has taken on the airport’s newly added role of art curator.

Baptiste told Albuquerque television station KRQE that he’s not surprised about the recognition since New Mexico is what he described as “an amazing arts community.”

“What we’re really trying to do here is create a sense of pride and place and I think airports are a great spot for that,” Baptiste said. “It’s good for locals to see their local art community but it’s also good for travelers to learn about what’s going on in a community as far as art goes.”

The lowrider exhibit was Baptiste’s idea. Traveling between Taos and Santa Fe as he was growing up, he said he was exposed to the lowrider culture.

The Albuquerque Journal reported that Baptiste enlisted the help of Artemis Promotions owner Joe Romero, who puts on an annual lowrider car show at the Albuquerque Convention Center.

Romero said the magazine’s accolades give recognition to a legitimate art form that is sometimes maligned or stereotyped in Hollywood.

He said the cars and bikes represent years of hard work that includes sweat, tears and sometimes blood.

“Those old bolts get rusted on there,” he said. “Sometimes they don’t come off that easily and you end up with bloody knuckles.”

For visitors, he said it’s an appealing attraction.

“You get the question of ‘Why,’” he said. “Why would someone paint it that color? Why did they do that to the car? They are rolling art pieces.”

From paintings and pottery to weavings and sculptures, the airport’s permanent collection has more than 120 pieces created by well-known New Mexican artists including Wilson Hurley, Lincoln Fox and Pablita Velarde. It also includes an original 1914 Curtiss Pusher Design Biplane.

Airport officials say a 2017 appraisal valued the collection at $3.3 million.

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