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UTEP’s Special Collections to host exhibit Carrillo in Color


UTEP’s Special Collections Department will host Carrillo in Color, an opening reception to a photography exhibit on Friday, Oct. 19, which will feature never-before-seen images from the late Mexican photographer Manuel Carrillo.

Carrillo was known for capturing black and white photographs of the indigenous Mexican culture from 1955 to the 1980s before his death. All of Carrillo’s prominent photographs depict life in rural Mexico of people, animals, and scenes from small towns and villages.

“Carrillo photographed the Mexican people with dignity,” said David Flores, a photo archivist for UTEP that worked first hand with the photos. “He photographed the Mexican people and their way of life. He really captured what the pueblo life was like.”

The exhibit will introduce guests and the community to dozens of Carrillo’s colored images that display an alternative vision from the late photographer.

“His color photos are similar to his black and white work but the color photos have more abstract subjects,” Flores said. “It’s interesting.”

Following his death in 1989, Carrillo’s photography collection has been part of the UTEP Special Collections Department since 1990 due to UTEP’s proximity to Mexico and connections between all communities.

“I hope that this important exhibit of Manuel Carrillo’s work in color film will be a source of pride for our university,” said Abbie Weiser, assistant head of special collections.

Flores discovered Carrillo’s colored images in a collection of hundreds of photos, slides and negatives, and felt the colored images could not go unacknowledged. Flores created the exhibit to show UTEP and the community an unknown aspect of one of Mexico’s most famous photographers.

“Carrillo’s exhibit highlights a previously overlooked aspect of his career,” Weiser said.

The revival and reveal of Carrillo’s colored photographs will not only emphasize on color, but it will also address the modernization of Carrillo’s work.

“The significance of the exhibit is the never before seen colored photos, but also if you think about it we are modernizing his work,” Flores said.

Current technology and photo development process was used to develop and enhance the colors in the Carrillo’s photographs.

The color photos that will be exhibited will be printed on metal sheets in order to display more detail and clarity of Carrillo’s work.

“I hope that the UTEP community will enjoy viewing these vibrant images printed on metal and learning about Manuel Carrillo’s artistry and career,” Weiser said.

UTEP’s C. L. Sonnichsen Special Collections Department Image Collections is in charge of the hundreds of items in Carrillo’s collection. The image collections have created and displayed their own list of Carrillo’s most-requested or exhibited images on their website.

To view some of Carrillo’s famous photographs visit

Carrillo in Color opens on Friday, Oct. 19, from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the UTEP library at the Third Floor Gallery. For more information about the exhibit call (915) 747-5697.

Catherine Ramirez may be reached at [email protected].

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UTEP’s Special Collections to host exhibit Carrillo in Color