Graciela Carrillo


Graciela Carrillo (born 1949) is a painter, muralist, cofounder of Mujeres Muralistas, and cofounder of Galería de la Raza. Carrillo, who is now known as Grace, was born in Los Angeles, California. In the late 1960s she studied art at the San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI) and Sacramento State University. Her collaboration with Patricia Rodriguez began when they were colleagues and roommates at SFAI, renting a room in the Mission District, starting to paint murals in Balmy Alley and later Para el Mercado and Latino America. Para el Mercado, designed by Carrillo and Consuelo Méndez, centered on a Pan-American theme with a focus on Latin American cultures. In Latino America, Carrillo painted the section on Guatemala, centering Indigenous heritage without conveying a strictly political visual narrative. In 1974 Carrillo featured her series of serigraphs and murals at Galería de la Raza in the exhibition Soñar Despierto: Serigraphs and Mural Exhibit (see https://calisphere.org/item/ark:/13030/hb558009kg/), where the Chicana/o, Mexican American, and Indigenous experience is represented using vivid colors, with Indigenous women as thematic protagonists. In 1980, she expressed her feminist perspective on Chicano muralism and art in her response letter to an article in Metamorfosis by Malaquías Montoya and his wife Lezlie Salkowitz-Montoya titled “A Critical Perspective on the State of Chicano Art” (see https://icaa.mfah.org/s/en/item/848837#). She challenged Montoya’s male-centered criticism and confronted the absence of respect for Chicana artists. Carrillo’s and Michael Ríos’s Mission Health Center Mural, restored in 2016 by Ríos and Susan Kelk Cervantes, vibrantly depicts scenes of anonymous Indigenous and conceptual figures representing the local community.

Gabriela Rodriguez-Gomez

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Works by Graciela Carrillo

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