If you check out Galería de la Raza right now, you’ll see a photographic collection of beautiful people and beautiful rides. But there’s a layered history to each of the photos. “The Q-Sides” is a photo exhibit that recreates album covers of the classic soul and do0-wop anthologies East-Side Stories and combines it with images celebrating the queer community.

The show opens tonight and from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.  at the  Galería on 24th Street near Bryant, you will also see many of the rides and models there.

First released in 1987, the East Side Story collections consisted of twelve volumes of classic oldies dedicated to and inspired by the lowrider and homeboy culture of LA’s Eastside. Each LP had an iconic cover image of lowriders and the people who rode them. In the Q-Sides, collaborators Vero Majano, DJ Brown Amy, and Kari Orvik recreated the album cover photos using models from San Francisco’s LGBTQ community. The result is an inventive and stylish set of images that work in many ways – evoking  nostalgia for the lowrider culture of the 1970s while simultaneously subverting it and offering viewers a different narrative.  The photos also capture a kind of family portrait of San Francisco’s existing queer Latino community.

We spoke to Amy, Vero and Kari on air last week on BFF.fm, and got so excited that we ran past the end of the show. Here’s an edited version in which the artists give us glimpses of some of their personal connections to the cultures and communities explored in the Q-Sides:

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Founder/Executive Editor. I’ve been a Mission resident since 1998 and a professor emeritus at Berkeley’s J-school since 2019 when I retired. I got my start in newspapers at the Albuquerque Tribune in the city where I was born and raised. Like many local news outlets, The Tribune no longer exists. I left daily newspapers after working at The New York Times for the business, foreign and city desks. Lucky for all of us, it is still there.

As an old friend once pointed out, local has long been in my bones. My Master’s Project at Columbia, later published in New York Magazine, was on New York City’s experiment in community boards.

Right now I'm trying to figure out how you make that long-held interest in local news sustainable. The answer continues to elude me.

Daniel Hirsch is a freelance writer who has been living in the Mission since 2009. When he's not contributing to Mission Local, he's writing plays, working as an extra for HBO, and/or walking to the top of Bernal Hill.

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  1. “Brown Amy”! Where did your photo go??? I saw you this morning on here –but it’s changed–and I’m gonna do my best to go and say “hello” later at your show down the street. It’s me, Erika, the Puerto Rican girl from Vanessa’s old spinning class. You look really good./Am leaving the gym by end of summer and lifting in the garage instead. Prices keep going up just for fun.

    Thanks you all for posting this beforehand.

    Erika