The U.S. Latinx Art Forum Announces 2023 Latinx Artist Fellows

by Jessica Fuentes May 31, 2023

The U.S. Latinx Art Forum (USLAF), an advocacy organization, has announced the recipients of its 2023 Latinx Artist Fellowship grants of $50,000, including two artists with Texas connections.

A grid of fifteen headshots of artists who are a part of the 2023 Latinx Artist Fellowship.

2023 Latinx Artist Fellows

Established in 2015, USLAF grew out of a College Art Association (CAA) session chaired by Adriana Zavala titled Imagining a U.S. Latina/o Art History. The two-part session raised issues related to the marginalization of U.S. Latinx art within the broader art world, including in museums, galleries, and cultural institutions, as well as in the fields of American and Latin American art history. Since that time, the organization has championed Latinx artists and arts professionals through scholarship, mentorship, advocacy, and funding. 

In 2021, USLAF launched the Latinx Artist Fellowship initiative, with a total of $5 million in support from the Mellon Foundation and the Ford Foundation. These funds will be awarded as $50,000 unrestricted grants to a total of 75 artists over five years. The fellowship is part of the Latinx Art Visibility Initiative, which is led by both foundations. This initiative also includes the Advancing Latinx Art in Museums program, which is providing $500,000 grants to ten arts museums to support the creation of early- and mid-career curatorial positions focused on Latinx art. 

Past Texas-based recipients of the Latinx Artist Fellowship include printmaker and photographer Delilah Montoya, multidisciplinary artist Adriana Corral, and artist and painter Vincent Valdez, all from Houston; multidisciplinary artist Michael Menchaca from San Antonio; artist and activist Celia Álvarez Muñoz from Arlington; multidisciplinary artist Rosemary Meza-DesPlas who lives in Farmington, New Mexico but has strong ties to North Texas; and artist and painter Leslie Martinez from Dallas.

A headshot of artist Margarita Cabrera.

Margarita Cabrera. Photo Credit: Anne Marie Porturas

A large metal sculpture resembling a tree stands within a park. From the top of the tree hang seven hundred small sculptures representing the stories of community members.

Margarita Cabrera, “Arbol de la Vida: Memorias y Voces de la Tierra,” 2019. Courtesy of the artist.

The 2023 fellowship class represents the diversity of the Latinx community, including women, queer, and nonbinary artists, as well as artists who represent a variety of racial and ethnic backgrounds. Margarita Cabrera, an interdisciplinary and social practice artist who lives and works in Arizona and Texas, and Verónica Gaona, a Houston-based multidisciplinary artist, are among the 15 recipients. See the full list of artists below.

A headshot of artist Verónica Gaona.

Verónica Gaona. Courtesy of the artist.

Family portraits are interspersed amongst fragments of a Ford-150 that have been arranged into two sculptural forms, one of which is hung on a wall, and the other of which stands upright on the ground.

Verónica Gaona, “To Know and to Dream at the Same Time,” 2022, Courtesy of the artist.

Artists were selected by a jury of curators from partner organizations, current fellows, and arts practitioners, including Rodrigo Moura, Chief Curator at El Museo del Barrio; Mari Carmen Ramírez, the Wortham Curator of Latin American Art and Director at the International Center for the Arts of the Americas at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Marianne Ramirez Aponte, Executive Director and Chief Curator at the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Puerto Rico; Maria Gaspar, an interdisciplinary artist based in Chicago; Lucia Hierro, a sculpture and installation artist based in New York; Consuelo Jimenez Underwood, a contemporary fiber artist based in Gualala, CA; and Josie Lopez, the Head Curator at the Albuquerque Museum.

2023 Latinx Artist Fellows

Felipe Baeza (he/they)
Visual Artist
Lives and works in Brooklyn, NY

Diógenes Ballester (he/him)
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 (she/her)
Multidisciplinary Artist and Sculptor
Lives and works in Los Angeles, CA

Sofía Gallisá Muriente (she/her)
Visual Artist
Lives and works in Hato Rey, Puerto Rico

Verónica Gaona (she/her)
Multidisciplinary Artist
Lives and works in Houston, TX

Ester Hernandez (she/her)
Printmaker, Painter, and Mixed Media Artist
Lives and works in San Francisco, CA

Joiri Minaya (she/her)
Interdisciplinary Visual Artist
Lives and works in New York, NY

Raphael Montañez Ortiz (he/him)
Interdisciplinary Mixed Media Artist
Lives and works in Highland Park, NJ

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

Daisy Quezada Ureña (she/her)
Visual Artist
Lives and works in Santa Fe, NM

Diana Solís (she/they/them)
Lives and works in Chicago, IL

Edra Soto (she/her)
Interdisciplinary Visual and Public Artist
Lives and works in Chicago, IL

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

Mario Ybarra Jr. (he/his)
Interdisciplinary Artist
Lives and works in Wilmington, CA

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