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Carrasco, Barbara (1955–)

Carrasco, Barbara (1955–)

A key figure in the Chicano Arts Movement, Barbara Carrasco is a visual artist who works in a variety of mediums, including painting, lithography, silk-screen, and computer animation. Her pieces range from pen-and-ink sketches to large public murals. Carrasco was born in El Paso, Texas, but grew up in the Los Angeles area, for the most part in ethnically mixed housing projects. This experience fomented her social awareness and community involvement. From an early age she demonstrated an affinity for art, which her parents encouraged. Her father introduced her to the work of the Mexican muralists, and her mother was intensely interested in Japanese art. Carrasco earned a fine arts degree from UCLA in 1978 and a master of fine arts degree from California Institute of the Arts in 1991. Between 1976 and 1991 she worked closely with labor leaders César Chávez and Dolores Huerta of the United Farm Workers, creating various banners for UFW events. Carrasco is socially and politically engaged as an artist, and issues of gender and ethnicity have been a theme in much of her work. Her pieces have been shown in exhibitions in the United States, Latin America, and Europe. Since 1993 she has been married to the Chicano artist, writer, and activist Harry Gamboa, Jr.

See alsoArt: The Twentieth Century; Chaves, Julio César; Hispanics in the United States; United Farm Workers Union.


Artistas Chicanas: A Symposium on the Experience and Expression of Chicana Artists. Ten videotapes. Santa Barbara: University of California, 1991.

Carrasco, Barbara. Oral history interview by Jeffery J. Rangel, April 13-26, 1999. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Available from

Venegas, Sybil. "Image & Identify: Recent Chicana Art from 'La Reina del Pueblo de Los Angeles de la Porcincula.'" The Art of Greater Los Angeles in the 1990s 2, no. 1 (1990). Laband Art Gallery series, Loyola Mary-mount University, Los Angeles.

                              Caryn C. Connelly

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