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My Barrio: Emigdio Vasquez and Chicana/o Identity in Orange County

Chapman University

Emigdio Vasquez, El Proletariado de Aztlán (Detail),1979. Acrylic on plaster. 8’ x 40’. Chapman University Art Collections. ©Emigdio Vasquez Art. Photo: Jessica Bocinski.

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An exhibition and app investigate Emigdio Vasquez’s prolific mural career and its contemporary context, celebrating the Chicano cultural movement through depictions of local communities alongside imagery from Mexican and American history.

In 2014, Chapman University partnered with the Orange Barrio Historical Society and local artist Higgy Vasquez to restore a 34-year-old mural, El Proletariado de Aztlán , on the exterior of a former apartment complex adjacent to the university. The mural was originally painted in 1979 by Higgy’s father, Emigdio Vasquez, a prolific artist who painted 22 public murals in Orange County between 1976 and 2006. Vasquez’ murals celebrated the Chicano cultural movement, depicting local people and places alongside imagery from Mexican and Mexican-American history. For Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA, Chapman’s curatorial team will launch the first comprehensive investigation of these local murals and the communities they identify. Satellite exhibitions on campus at the Guggenheim Gallery and the University Student Union will highlight the work of contemporary Chicana/o muralists and display historical artifacts and photos relating to Chicano murals in Orange County, and a downloadable app will enable users to view an interactive map of historic mural sites for a self-guided tour that provides information on each work, including those that have been destroyed.

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September 13, 2017 - January 05, 2018


Orange County




Film & Video, Installation, Mixed Media, Murals, Painting, Photography, Prints & Drawing, Sculpture



Chapman University Website


1 University Drive
Orange, CA