colores de mi alma

by Amado Castillo III

Co-Curated by Monica Maldonado

Amado Castillo's exhibit, "Colores de Mi Alma" (Colors Of My Soul) will be on display at the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center from July 2, 2021 to Sept 4, 2021 in the Community Gallery. This exhibit was co-curated by

Artist Statement:

As a native Austinite, my artwork has drawn inspiration from this unique city as well as my Chicano roots. Tejano and Chicano culture especially have influenced my paintings and artistic style. Since elementary school, I have gravitated strongly towards creating things with my hands and as time has passed, I have also grown a love for making music. Art is something that calms me and grounds me even during the most difficult of moments. Aside from my artistic endeavors, I am a proud husband, and father to four incredible children.

The pieces inspired in the “Colores de Mi Alma” exhibit are inspired by Austin’s Eastside, Animal Wildlife, Tejano Musicians, and Latino Community Leaders. The colors represent the vibrancy and passion I feel in my soul for art. I am beyond grateful for the opportunity to share my vision and life’s work with you all. A huge thank you to the ESB MACC for hosting my artwork. - Amado Castillo III

About Amado

Austin, Texas born and raised, Amado Castillo III grew up on the Eastside during the late 1970’s. It was in elementary school that his curiosity and drive for creating became noticeable to his teachers and peers. In 4th grade, one of his teachers recommended him for an opportunity that would allow artistically gifted students to follow an active member of the Austin art community. His then mentor, Raul Valdez, a highly respected muralist of the moment, propelled Amado into using paints, brushes, and canvases as opposed to paper and pencil. As time passed, his skillset became stronger and his appreciation for the contemporary style solidified.

From a young age, Amado has had an innate sense of duty and discipline for family; that proved true when his father became a pastor. He began helping heavily in the church, where he explored a different artistic avenue--music. If he wasn’t painting, he was almost certainly making music. These two pastimes occupied and grounded him from getting involved in gang activity that was booming back then in the Eastside.

Amado started a family early on. Today, he and his wife have four loving children that are also deeply immersed into the arts. Being a young father took away some of his ability to actively participate in the art scene but as he got older his passion and talent grew. The “Colores de Mi Alma” exhibit is a culmination of Amado’s work, love for this city, and appreciation for his Chicano roots.

-Monse Alvarado Ruiz

"Colores De Mi Alma:" Virtual Exhibit

Squeeze Box Man

May 2021 acrylic on canvas

Tejano music legend and good friend, Joel Guzman. Amado has long admired the Grammy winning artist for his undeniable ability to play the accordion & piano, sing, and produce music.


February 2021 acrylic on canvas

Depicting a great during one of the most racially charged times in history, the late Martin Luther King Jr.

Music in the Blood

August 2017 acrylic and spray paint on canvas

This piece is a tribute to Amado’s hometown, the “Live Music Capital of the World.” As a musician himself, Amado got to combine what makes this city sparkle and what has brought vibrant joy to his life--music.


May 2021 acrylic and spray paint on canvas

When the Aztec and Chicano realms collide. This profile depiction of a strong Aztec leader is a commonly seen image in Latin America. Details have been strategically added to create a more modern image of a classic piece.

La Aguila

September 2019 acrylic on canvas

Drawing continuous inspiration from the Mexican flag, Amado has painted the eagle as it gets ready to hone in on its target.

El Luchador

December 2019 acrylic on canvas and spray paint

A colorful, contemporary piece paying homage to Mexican-American labor leader and civil rights activist, Cesar Chavez.

Hecho en Tejas

May 2021 acrylic and spray paint on canvas

The sarape and sombrero represent items that are culturally sacred to Mexico. Perhaps not noticeable initially, the Michael Jordan logo in the background of the wording is a nod to the athlete who has greatly impacted Amado since childhood.

Another Level

January 2019 acrylic and spray paint on canvas

A piece in the urban contemporary style of the brilliant Mexican-American guitarist, Carlos Santana.

Peace Forward

April 2021 acrylic and spray paint on canvas

As the world seemingly continues to spiral, the fist represents the perseverance towards justice and peace.

El Montopolis Kid

May 2019 acrylic on canvas

A live painted work of Johnny Degollado, a talented accordionist and friend. The gifted musician is a native to Austin, Texas.


May 2021 acrylic on canvas

An ode to a staple Eastside business. The Estrada Family has been serving Austin since 1960. The Castillo family and the Estrada family have known each other for many many years. Amado respects them greatly for their meaningful contributions to the Eastside community.

The Brawl

May 2021 acrylic on canvas

Cockfighting is a universal blood sport that has been culturally present for centuries. Coming from the Eastside and Latin culture, this traditional display of masculinity is something of familiarity to Amado’s urban experience.

La Guardia/ Voz Alta

August 2020 print on canvas (original is a mural)

Vanessa Guillen mural copy transferred onto canvas. Amado painted a mural in 2020 of the late hero. Gone far too soon, her legacy will live on in those who need and deserve protection from sexual assault and gender discrimination.


June 2021 acrylic on canvas

San Antonio born Tejano musician and 16 time Grammy winner Gilbert Velasquez. The legendary artist is a close friend and musical inspiration to Amado.

Frequency of Sound

July 2011 oil and spray paint on canvas

A drummer himself, Amado connects deeply to the sounds and vibrations of the instrument. This is a visual representation of the power music has as it is being created.

Reaching Deep

July 2021 acrylic and spray paint on canvas

As a true believer in humanity, this piece shows the powerful yet simple image of lending a helping hand.

ATX Skyline

May 2021 acrylic and spray paint on canvas

Amado’s family has been in Austin for three generations. This piece was painted as a gift to his mother, Estella Castillo, an ATX native.


June 2021 acrylic and spray paint on canvas

The Dominguez’s and Castillos’ have built a loving bond that began in the late 1950’s when their grandparents met and supported one another through the formation of a church band called “Felicidad.” For over three generations their families have grown together within the church ministry of East Austin. The two have a friendship that goes above and beyond as they more often refer to each other as brothers. Bobby ‘Baserok’ Dominguez is a veteran in the Tejano music scene, who has played for the legendary Jay Perez for over 16 years.

Raining Sounds

August 2000 acrylic on canvas

Staying true to his musical roots, Amado has always carried a deep fondness for instruments. These drums represent the gift of sound and the amplification of sensation. One of Amado’s mostly influential mentors is Robert Hurst. Robert and Amado painted this work together approximately 25 years ago. Mr. Hurst passed away on May 15, 2021. In honor of the role he played in Amado’s artistic development this piece is referred to as “The Last of the Splash Crescendo”.

Join us at the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Center for an artist talk given by Amado Castillo III about his new exhibit "Colores De Mi Alma". The event will be held outside the community gallery!

Stay tuned for more information!

Únase a nosotros en el Centro Mexicano Americano Emma S. Barrientos para una charla artística de Amado Castillo III sobre su nueva exhibición "Colores De Mi Alma". ¡El evento se llevará a cabo fuera de la galería comunitaria!

¡Estén atentos para más información!


***Time slots contain one (1) ticket for each 30 minute slot. One ticket is good for you and your entire group. You do not need to purchase multiple tickets for each person in your group, but groups are limited to ten (10) guests per slot. Please reach out if you have questions or concerns about reservations!***

***Las franjas horarias contienen un (1) ticket por cada franja horaria de 30 minutos. Un boleto es bueno para ti y para todo tu grupo. No es necesario comprar varios boletos para cada persona en su grupo, pero los grupos están limitados a diez (10) invitados por reserva. Comuníquese con nosotros si tiene preguntas o inquietudes sobre las reservas.***

Schedule your visit to the exhibit! For questions, email olivia.tamzarian@austintexas.gov. Reservations are 30 minute time-slots.

Gallery hours:

Wednesdays 10:00am-6:00pm

Thursdays 10:00am-8:00pm

Fridays 10:00am-6:00pm

Saturdays 10:00am-4:00pm

* Masks and social distancing while visiting the MACC are strongly encouraged.

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