Romina Del Castillo was born in Lima, Peru, raised in Santiago de Chile and immigrated to the United States at the age of 16. She obtained her Bachelors of Fine Arts with an emphasis on Drawing and Painting at California State University Long Beach. She works in a variety of mediums that include oil, acrylic, graphite, chalk, and charcoal, with observational drawing at the core of her practice. Romina was a recipient of the Orval Dillingham College of the Arts Scholarship and her work has been included in group exhibitions at the Museum of Latin American Art, Torrance Art Museum, Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, the University Art Museum at California State University Long Beach, the Brand Library in Glendale. She painted a large mural on the outside of the Cerritos College Fine Arts Building for the FAR Bazaar in 2017. Del Castillo remains an active member of Long Beach’s FA4 Collective, though she has recently relocated to Portland, Oregon.
Raised by her grandmother, a beloved mentor that she continues to visit annually, Del Castillo’s artistic practice remains close to her Peruvian roots and the growing social injustice experienced by the indigenous peoples of the region. Her latest series, Maimantataj Kanki? (Quechua for “Where are you from?”) is inspired by traditional Andean aguayos, rectangular woven textiles used by the indigenous people to keep warm and to carry all manner of burdensome loads from groceries to children. Del Castillo renders designs that are inspired by traditional Andean textiles (never from living designers) in a distinctive straw marquetry technique that stems from her time as an assistant to the French artist, Paulin Paris (the great-grandson of Carolus Duran, a noted mid-19th century painter). Originally developed in 18th century Europe and kept alive by Paris and Del Castillo, this detailed technique consists of pieces of veneer applied to a structure to form decorative patterns, designs or pictures. Del Castillo has recently begun to utilize this marquetry technique to create “ribbons” from straw. The final textile-like image invites the viewer to imagine caressing the colorful surface, a celebration of indigenous design and European craft.