Our Getty Pacific Standard Time Exhibition, “My Barrio: Emigdio Vasquez and Chicana/o Identity in Orange County” is off to an exciting start! If you weren’t able to attend the opening or want to revisit the moment, here’s a recap of the event complete with all the flyers and catalog information.

On Wednesday, September 13th we celebrated the opening of the exhibition with an evening of music, tacos, and art. Students, faculty, and the Orange community were invited to view Emigdio Vasquez’s El Proletariado de Aztlán mural on Cypress Street while sipping on agua de jamaica (hibiscus tea). 442 N. Cypress Street was buzzing with excitement as members of the Chapman and Orange community gathered around the mural (some for the first time!) and Cypress street residents (current and former) identified personal friends, family, and experiences represented in the mural. To aid visitors’ understanding of the historical complexity of El Proletariado de Aztlán, Student Art Ambassadors passed out flyers that identified some of the central themes and figures in the mural.

To download the mural flyer, click here: Cypress Street Mural Guide


Students, Faculty, and Orange Community view El Proletariado de Aztlan by Emigdio Vasquez

Students, Faculty, and Orange Community view El Proletariado de Aztlán by Emigdio Vasquez Photo by Esther Shen


Photo by Esther Shen



After the mural viewing, visitors were escorted to Chapman University’s main campus to view Vasquez’s canvas works alongside contemporary Chicana/o artists in the Guggenheim Gallery. Provost Glenn Pfeiffer, Dean of Wilkinson College Patrick Fuery, Project Director and Art Collections Curator Natalie Lawler, and Co-Curator and Instructional Assistant Professor of Art History Denise Johnson opened the event with warm words of welcome and acknowledgement. The gallery was packed with students, faculty, and community members who explored Emigdio Vasquez’s canvas works alongside the contemporary works of Chicana/o artists Cynthia Herrera, Ana Serrano, Ken Gonzalez-Day, Ramiro Gomez, Patrick Martinez, Shizu Saldamando, and Alejandro Sanchez. The gallery exhibition allowed viewers to trace the continued importance of the themes, subjects, and styles in Vasquez’s works to contemporary artists. Visitors were even able to take one of Gonzalez-Day’s photograph “takeaways” (a stack of photographs that are designed to be removed taken by the viewer) with them as a memento of their visit.

To download the exhibition catalogue, click here: Getty PST Catalog


Guests gather for opening remarks in Moulton Hall Courtyard. Photo by Esther Shen



In between visits to the gallery and the historical exhibition in the Henley Galleria on the second floor of Argyros Forum, visitors were invited to help themselves to some delicious street tacos and refreshments in the courtyard outside Moulton Hall. The band Raskahuele and two Chapman students lit up the night with Ska-Reggae-Latin music and traditional Mexican dance.

All of us at the Art Collections were thrilled to see the Chapman and Orange community come together to celebrate Vasquez’s amazing work and the important stories it captures.


Guests take a break from looking at art to have refreshments in Moulton Hall courtyard. Photo by Esther Shen



What is Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA?

Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA is a far-reaching and ambitious exploration of Latin American and Latino art in dialogue with Los Angeles. Supported by grants from the Getty Foundation, PST: LA/LA takes place from September 2017 through January 2018 at more than 70 cultural institutions across Southern California. Pacific Standard Time is an initiative of the Getty.


How is Chapman Participating?

The Art Collections Department at Chapman University has been selected to partner in this initiative with a multi-faceted, interdisciplinary exploration of Chicana/o art in Orange County. The springboard for Chapman’s project is a 1979 mural, El Proletariado de Aztlán, by Emigdio Vasquez. For PST: LA/LA, Chapman’s curatorial team will launch the first comprehensive investigation of Vasquez’ local murals and the communities they identify. This interdisciplinary project will comprise five distinct components, launching in Fall 2017 (see reverse for more details about each component):

  1. An exhibition of Vasquez’ paintings at the Guggenheim Gallery
  2. An exhibition of documentary material in the Henley Galleria, Argyros Forum
  3. A downloadable app providing an interactive map of historic mural sites in Orange County
  4. A symposium on Chicana/o murals
  5. A new mural centered on Chapman University history, painted on campus by Higgy Vasquez


Who is Emigdio Vasquez?

Vasquez (1939-2014) was a prolific artist who painted over 30 public murals in Orange County between 1976 and 2006. His murals celebrated the Chicana/o cultural movement, depicting local people and places alongside imagery from Mexican and Mexican-American history. His 1979 mural, El Proletariado de Aztlán, is located on a Chapman University-owned apartment building on North Cypress Street, Orange. In 2014, Chapman partnered with the Orange Barrio Historical Society and local artist Higgy Vasquez, Emigdio Vasquez’ son, to restore the mural.

For more information visit: https://www.chapman.edu/arts/pacific-standard-time.aspx


To schedule a tour of My Barrio: Emigdio Vasquez and Chicana/o Identity in Orange County with the Art Collections, please contact artcollections@chapman.edu.

All text and images under copyright. Please contact artcollections@chapman.edu for permission to use. Information subject to change upon further research.