$50,000 Latinx Artist Fellowships Awarded to Pepón Osorio, Elle Pérez, Yreina D. Cervántez, Guillermo Gómez-Peña, and More

The U.S. Latinx Art Forum (USLAF) has named the fourth cohort for its annual Latinx Artist Fellowship. Each cohort consists of 15 artists of Latin American or Caribbean descent who were born or have long been based in the US; each winner receives $50,000.

Aimed to recognize artists at all stages of their careers, the Latinx Artist Fellowship is awarded to five early career artists, five mid-career artists, and five established artists. Among this year’s winners, whose practices span painting and printmaking to installation and performance to photography and social practice, are pillars of the Latinx art community like Pepón Osorio, Yreina D. Cervántez, John Valadez, and Guillermo Gómez-Peña, as well as closely watched ones like Elle Pérez, Sandy Rodriguez, Joel Gaitan, and Chris E. Vargas. (More information on each artist can be found on USLAF’s website.)

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“This is what we want this fellowship to be, and this is how we think about the X [in Latinx],” USLAF executive director Adriana Zavala told ARTnews. “This, to me, feels like such an extraordinarily intersectional cohort of artists. I think of all of them, in distinct ways, as dissenters and disruptors—the way they disrupt, siloing tendencies and political exclusion writ large, not just for Latinx artists but for the Latinx community, the Black community, the LGBTQ community.”

This year’s cohort was selected by jury that consists of curators from USLAF’s partner institutions—Angelica Arbelaez at the Whitney Museum, Rita Gonzalez at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Cesáreo Moreno at the National Museum of Mexican Art, Maria Elena Ortiz at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth—as well as three of last year’s fellows: artists Felipe Baeza, Sofía Gallisá Muriente, and Tina Tavera. In having artists serve on the jury, Zavala said the organization wanted to ensure that it was “co-creating this with the artists.”

Earlier this year, USLAF launched “X as Intersection: Writing on Latinx Art,” which will commission short essays on each of the previous and current winners divided into seven different collections. The series title, Zavala said, is meant “to signal that, for us, Latinx is a concept. It’s not an aesthetic. It’s not a homogenizing identity. It’s a concept, a political concept, a creative concept.”

The inaugural collection, “Latinx Unsettling,” is edited by Zavala and focuses on artists like Elia Alba, Coco Fusco, Ester Hernandez, Juan Sánchez, and Vincent Valdez, while the second collection, “Materiality of Memory,” is edited by Mary Thomas, USLAF’s director of programs, and will highlight artists such as Lucia Hierro, Carmelita Tropicana, Consuelo Jimenez-Underwood, and Mario Ybarra Jr. The first collection will go live in January, with calls for papers for the other five categories being announced through next year.

“What these artists really need is writing about their work, across multiple genres,” from journalistic pieces to more scholarly articles by both established and early-career writers, Zavala said. “At the end of 2026, we will have 75 essays on Latinx contemporary artists on our website that we’ll be building. I think that’s going to be an extraordinary tool for general audiences, for students at every level, and for scholars seeking out new artists.”

The Latinx Art Fellowship was established in 2021 with $5 million from the Mellon Foundation and the Ford Foundation to fund the first five years of the program, which is set to expire in 2025.

“We’re working very hard to keep all of the work that we do going,” Zavala said. “We’re hopeful that 2025–26 will not be the sunsetting of USLAF or the Latinx Artist Fellowship. But it’s important for people to understand that this is not a given. There’s a lot of work that goes into it every single day.”

The full list of the 2023 Latinx Artist Fellows follows below.

Alberto Aguilar
Artist
Chicago, IL

Yreina D. Cervántez
Painter, Printmaker, and Muralist
Los Angeles, CA

Lizania Cruz
Participatory, Installation, Multidisciplinary, Conceptual Artist, Printmaker, and Designer
New York, NY

Jenelle Esparza
Multidisciplinary Artist
San Antonio, TX

Fronterizx Collective
(Jenea Sanchez & Gabriela Muñoz)
Interdisciplinary Social Practice
Phoenix, AZ / Agua Prieta, Mexico

Joel Gaitan
Sculptor
Miami, FL

Guillermo Gómez-Peña
Performance Artist and Writer
San Francisco CA / Mexico City, Mexico

Maria Maea
Multidisciplinary Artist
Los Angeles, CA

Charo Oquet
Multidisciplinary Artist
Miami, FL

Pepón (Benjamin) Osorio
Visual Artist
Philadelphia, PA

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Elle Pérez
Artist and Photographer
Bronx, NY

Gadiel Rivera Herrera
Visual Artist
San Juan, PR

Sandy Rodriguez
Artist and Researcher
Los Angeles, CA

John Valadez
Painter, Muralist, and Photographer
Los Angeles, CA

Chris E. Vargas
Transdisciplinary Artist
Los Angeles, CA / Bellingham, WA

Source: artnews.com

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