Produced by WDET, Detroit's NPR Station

Rolling Canvases


Told by  

Martina Guzmán

Photographed by  

Erik Paul Howard

An audio-visual story about Detroit’s lowrider culture.

Rolling Canvases is a celebration of automotive art and design from Southwest Detroit. Storyteller Martina Guzmán and photographer Erik Paul Howard have collaborated to present this narrative through the voices of Detroit’s lowrider community.

In this early 1900s, the Southwest Detroit neighborhood became home to the Fleetwood Facility which produced the first ever Cadillac vehicle. Since then, members of the local lowrider community have transformed traditional American cars into their very own distinct works of art.

Previously displayed at Grace in Action in Southwest Detroit and at WDET’s studios during Noel Night.

Select a story to begin your listening session.

Meet the Artists

Martina Guzmán


Martina Guzmán is an award winning, nationally recognized  journalist based in Detroit, Michigan. Her focus is telling stories of marginalized communities through the lens of race, poverty and culture. In 2016 She became the first Journalism Fellow at the Michigan Economic Center. There, she will report on water issues, which address race, justice and new water technology in the 21st century. From 2008 to 2015 Martina worked at WDET, Detroit’s NPR affiliate. There, she was awarded the 2009 Best Individual Reporter by the Associated Press. She is the proud daughter of Mexican immigrants and a graduate of Journalism School at Columbia University in New York City. Visit website.

Erik Paul Howard


Erik Paul Howard is a photographer as well as co-founder of Expressions and  Young  Nation in southwest Detroit.  He combines his passion for youth and community  development  with his love of photography.  Using group activities such as lowriding and street art as a mentoring tool, Erik has been able to reach out to young people in the community of southwest Detroit.  Erik’s photography  documents his personal relationships and interactions in communities. It captures the excitement of people in their process of self discovery, development, and life experiences. View website.


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