Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Oscar R. Castillo: Documenting Chicano Life and Activism

Oscar R. Castillo. José Angel Gutiérrez, Reies López Tijerina, and Rodolfo "Corky" Gonzalez at the National Convention of the Raza Unida Party, photographed in 1972, inkjet print, 14 1/2" x 20". Image archived in the Oscar R. Castillo Photograph Collection, Chicano Studies Research Center (CSRC) Digital Collections of the UCLA Digital Library Program

Thursday, October 1 to Friday, November 6, 2015
Opening Reception in the Gallery:
Thursday, October 22, 2015, 2 – 4pm
The reception welcomes the Western History Association conference attendees, and, as always, welcomes students and the public.
Gallery Hours:
9am to 5pm, Monday through Friday

Cascade Gallery presents documentary photographs by Oscar R. Castillo showing significant moments in the recent history of Chicano life, culture, and political movements. The exhibition features twenty of Castillo’s photographs with a focus on major Chicano social justice movements of the 1970s for worker and student rights. Photographs reflect historical moments like the Chicano Moratorium March on Los Angeles in 1970; La Raza Unida Party National Convention in El Paso, Texas in 1972; United Farm Workers demonstrations; and Los Angeles student demonstrations for culturally relevant curriculum in the public schools.

Oscar R. Castillo studied art at California State University, Northridge (CSUN) and film production at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Castillo was particularly inspired by ideas in the then new Chicano Studies program at CSUN, learning about César Chávez and the struggles of farmworkers to organize. During the Chicano Civil Rights Movement that continued in the 1970s, Castillo worked as a staff photographer for Con Safos, a Chicano literary magazine, and in a Los Angeles Public Broadcasting Station producing television coverage of Chicano events and personalities of the times. Since the 1970s, Castillo has worked as a commercial and documentary photographer and art instructor. His work has been published in news publications such as the Los Angeles Times, and he has exhibited his photographs in the United States, Mexico, Cuba, and France, including a solo exhibition at the Fowler Museum at UCLA in 2012. Castillo’s work is in the collection of the Smithsonian Institution, and his archive is housed at the Chicano Studies Research Center (CSRC) at UCLA.

"Oscar Castillo’s extensive photographic work documenting the Chicano community over the past forty years offers a distinctive visual challenge to the stereotypical representation of East Los Angeles as violent or exotic... The result is one of the richest photographic collections available of the Chicano civil rights movement."Dr. Chon A. Noriega, Director, Chicano Studies Research Center, UCLA

Miguel Juárez, a doctoral student in History at the University of Texas at El Paso, worked with the Cascade Gallery to coordinate Oscar R. Castillo's exhibition, as part of the 55th Annual Conference of the Western History Association, October 21-24, 2015.

For more information about the exhibition or the gallery, please contact Elizabeth Bilyeu at 971-722-5326 or cascade.gallery@pcc.edu.

Cascade Gallery
Portland Community College at Cascade Campus
Terrell Hall 102
705 N Killingsworth
Portland, OR 97217

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