Inaugural Cars & Canvases Art Show draws auto enthusiasts to downtown Farmington

Noel Lyn Smith
Farmington Daily Times

FARMINGTON — Tim Gurule put the finishing touches on his 1994 Lincoln Town Car to show the luxury sedan at the Cars & Canvases Art Show on Sept. 18 in downtown Farmington.

Gurule, of Blanco, converted the car into a lowrider. It was eye catching with its bright pink color, a tone he said is called "Pink Panther passion."

"I've grown up around lowriders. My family is from Española. There's a lot of lowriders over there and it's always been part of our family, our culture. It's in the blood," Gurule said.

This is the seventh Lincoln he has owned, and he explained that he painted the body, installed the hydraulics and refurbished the interior.

A trio of classic trucks is displayed on Main Street during the Cars & Canvases Art Show on Sept. 18 in downtown Farmington.

"Somebody can go buy a car but to build a car and call it your own, it's a different story," he said after waxing the tires.

This is the first time the Tres Rios Habitat for Humanity hosted a combined car show and arts and crafts fair.

Proceeds from entry fees, booth fees and other activities held at the event will help the nonprofit build its twelfth home for a low-income family in San Juan County next year.

Harold Benally checks out a Harley-Davidson motorcycle during the Cars & Canvases Art Show on Sept. 18 in downtown Farmington.

"It's been an interesting thing to do and the goal is always to raise money for Habitat," board member Danni Andrew said.

There were more than 150 spaces available for artist's booths and the car show and all were sold out, she added.

While various makes and models of cars, trucks and motorcycles lined a portion of Main Street, it was a 1969 Pontiac GTO that had Colt Howlett's attention.

After reviewing the automobile, he explained that he owns a 1970 model and wanted to see the work done to the 1969.

Howlett said he attends car shows because the vehicles reflect the owner's idea and vision come to fruition.

"It may not be my cup of tea," he said about some styles. "But I appreciate the hard work that somebody put into something."

Tim Gurule cleans a tire on his 1994 Lincoln Town Car during the Cars & Canvases Art Show on Sept. 18 in downtown Farmington. The inaugural event benefited Tres Rios Habitat for Humanity.

He added that it is relaxing to rebuild older vehicles and to give it new life – a love that started during childhood when he helped his father build a 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air.

"Cars have been in my blood for my whole life," Howlett said.

Harold Benally admired the row of motorcycles on the north side of Main Street.

Benally said he was unaware of the car show and was driving through downtown when curiosity got the best of him.

"Some are so creative that they're out of this world," Benally said after checking out a 2015 custom motorcycle.

Noel Lyn Smith covers the Navajo Nation for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-546-4636 or by email at

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