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Written by Harold Allen, Chicago-based photographer and husband of Mexican folk artist María Enríquez de Allen, this biographical sketch covers the life of Enríquez de Allen from her childhood in Allende, Cohauila to her years in Chicago, where she eventually moved to be with her grownup children. Her youngest son, Mario Castillo graduated from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and is an artist as well. Enriquez de Allen's quilts, sculptures, and flowers have been shown at museums in Chicago and Washington, D.C.


Born in Allende, Coahuila, on June 27, 1907, Enríquez de Allen moved to Chicago in 1963, where, in 1967, she joined the Halsted Urban Progress Center as an arts and crafts instructor for after-school and evening programs; later, she became known as an artist, educator, and community activist. Enríquez de Allen was a member of the Association of the Latino Brotherhood of Artists (ALBA), an organization active in the early 1970s and comprised of poets, artisans, artists, and actors, including the following members: Iko Alegria, Ricardo Alonzo, Francisco Blasco, Anna Castillo, Manuel Castillo, Mario Castillo, Paula Confresi, Rev. Ruben Cruz, Yolanda Galvan, Alex Garza, Jose Gonzalez, Douglas Kitto, Raymond Patlan, Delia Pena, Gamaliel Ramirez, Jose Roman, Hector Rosario, Gini Sorentini, and members of the Teatro desengaño del Pueblo.

Victor Alejandro Sorell, Gabrielle Toth
Institute for Latino Studies, University of Notre Dame, South Bend, USA
Courtesy of the private archives of Mario E. Castillo, Chicago, IL