Pacific Standard Time: More Than Just a Time Zone

Chicano art exhibits at the Fowler Museum instill not only knowledge, but pride

By Cindy Pulido
Published on LatinoLA: February 6, 2012

Pacific Standard Time: More Than Just a Time Zone

It had been months of noticing billboards and bulletins advertising it before I decided to look it up and found that; Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A.1945-1980 is described as: "a collaboration of more than 60 cultural institutions across Southern California coming together to celebrate the birth of the L.A. art scene." (pacificstandardtime.org)

I took full advantage of the fact that many of the museums charge no fee and visited The Fowler Museum located on the UCLA campus. The campus alone was breath-taking. Freshman played some sort of initiation game on one lawn while upperclassmen watched from little tree-lined hills above it.

Inside, a courtyard with a fountain lies in the middle of a wraparound hallway. Here, is the exhibit of photographer Oscar Castillo (detail of "'47 Chevy in Wilmington, Calif" pictured). His work displays shots of daily life in the barrios of Los Angeles in the 60's, 70's and up to the 80's. Frames of students marching the streets, protesting for better school systems and graffiti on random homes are shot beautifully, exposing them in a real light, but not harshly. Kids playing in the street, couples holding hands and businesses lining an avenue are all frames that weave a story of the joys and sorrows that these neighborhoods have witnessed.

There are at least three other rooms displaying exhibits. One is fully the display of the birth of the Chicano art scene in the 60's. Videos of documentaries showing the faces of this movement play on a wall's screen while all around samples of the art that was produced during this time serve as colorful evidence of their struggle. An old-world style map of Los Angeles is a central piece that recounts how Hispanics have had an effect on the city's growth.

I leave the museum feeling empowered and excited for this project. This being only one of the many places where one can see such examples of art only makes me anxious to see more. Making these exhibits available to the public instills not only knowledge, but pride in an area that has long been a beacon for creativity and will continue to be.

For more information please visit: pacificstandardtime.org.

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