$50,000 Latinx Artist Fellowships Go to Raphael Montañez Ortiz, Ester Hernandez, Postcommodity, and More

The U.S. Latinx Art Forum has announced the third group of artists who won its annual Latinx Artist Fellowship, which is supported by the Ford and Mellon Foundations through 2025.

Established in 2021, the Latinx Artist Fellowship was created to honor the practices of Latinx artists, who have historically been underrecognized by mainstream institutions, and to give them funds to help support their careers, in the form of unrestricted grants of $50,000 per artist. (The fellowship is part of the larger Latinx Art Visibility Initiative, led by Ford and Mellon, that also includes funds for museum curators specialized in Latinx art.)

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Each cohort consists of 15 fellows—a mix of established, mid-career, and emerging artists—and are specifically selected “to reflect the Latinx community’s diversity, highlighting the practices of women-identified, queer, and nonbinary artists, as well as those from a variety of racial and ethnic backgrounds” and to be geographically representative.

In a statement, USLAF’s director of programs Mary Thomas said, “As the Latinx Artist Fellowship marks its third year, this cohort of artists speaks to the wide range of aesthetic strategies, conceptual practices, and subject matter that position Latinx artists as vital and significant voices within contemporary art.”

As with the previous two cohorts, this year’s fellows include pillars of Latinx art history, like Ester Hernandez, who is well-known for her incisive political prints like Sun Mad (1982), and Raphael Montañez Ortiz. Best known as a purveyor of Destructivism, he was recently the subject of his first career retrospective, at El Museo del Barrio, the New York institution he founded, that included a destroyed piano alongside works made during the pandemic.

The list also includes Postcommodity, the collective now consisting of Cristóbal Martínez and Kade L. Twist whose room-size installation, A Very Long Line, for the 2017 Whitney Biennial, poignantly reflected on what it means to confront the US-Mexico border firsthand. Margarita Cabrera, another winner, has staged workshops across the Southwest that bring together migrant women to share stories and collaborate on touching soft sculptures, while Joiri Minaya makes videos and installations that vestiges of colonialism in the Caribbean through the concept of the tropical.

Two of today’s leading conceptual sculptors are also among the fellows: Beatriz Cortez, whose monumental works reflect on migration experiences via a collapsing of different temporalities and possible futures, and Edra Soto, whose interventions look at how Puerto Rican domestic architecture has been exported the world over. Cortez recently installed a series of works at the Storm King Art Center in New York’s Hudson Valley, and Soto’s survey of her 10-year “GRAFT” series is on view at the Hyde Park Art Center in Chicago through August 6.

The emerging artists include artists like Verónica Gaona, Daisy Quezada Ureña, and Sofía Gallisá Muriente, who was recently featured, as was Soto, in the Whitney Museum’s “no existe un mundo poshuracán: Puerto Rican Art in the Wake of Hurricane Maria” exhibition.

The artists were selected from a pool of more than 200 nominees by a jury that included past artist fellows Maria Gaspar, Lucia Hierro, and Consuelo Jimenez Underwood, as well as curators Rodrigo Moura (El Museo del Barrio), Mari Carmen Ramírez (Museum of Fine Arts, Houston), Marianne Ramirez Aponte (MAC Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Puerto Rico), and Josie Lopez (Albuquerque Museum).

In a statement, USLAF executive director Adriana Zavala said, “USLAF is thrilled to announce the newest cohort of Latinx artist fellows. Like our first two cohorts, these 15 extraordinary artists embody the originality and talent that abound within the Latinx artistic community. We congratulate them, and we are grateful to Mellon and Ford for their partnership and support of our work to uplift Latinx visual artists.”

A composite image showing 15 portraits of artists.
The 2023 fellows.

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

Felipe Baeza
Visual Artist
Lives and works in Brooklyn, NY

Diógenes Ballester
Arteologist and Multimedia Artist
Lives and works in New York, NY

Margarita Cabrera
Interdisciplinary and Social Practice Artist
Lives and works in Arizona and Texas

Beatriz Cortez
Multidisciplinary Artist and Sculptor
Lives and works in Los Angeles, CA

Sofía Gallisá Muriente
Visual Artist
Lives and works in Hato Rey, Puerto Rico

Verónica Gaona
Multidisciplinary Artist
Lives and works in Houston, TX

Ester Hernandez
Printmaker, Painter, and Mixed Media Artist
Lives and works in San Francisco, CA

Joiri Minaya
Interdisciplinary Visual Artist
Lives and works in New York, NY

Raphael Montañez Ortiz 
Interdisciplinary Mixed Media Artist
Lives and works in Highland Park, NJ

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(Cristóbal Martínez and Kade L. Twist)
(Mestizo: Genízaro, Pueblo, Manito, and Cherokee)
Sound, Installation, and Performance Artists
Live and work in Tempe, AZ and Los Angeles, CA

Daisy Quezada Ureña
Visual Artist
Lives and works in Santa Fe, NM

Diana Solís
Lives and works in Chicago, IL

Edra Soto
Interdisciplinary Visual and Public Artist
Lives and works in Chicago, IL

Maria Cristina (Tina) Tavera
Multidisciplinary Artist
Lives and works in Minneapolis, MN

Mario Ybarra Jr.
Interdisciplinary Artist
Lives and works in Wilmington, CA

Source: artnews.com

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