These Are the 15 Artists Named Latinx Artists Fellows by the Ford and Mellon Foundations

Latinx Artists Fellows BELatina Latinx

The Mellon Foundation and the Ford Foundation announced last week the latest cohort of the Latinx Artists Fellowship, a multi-year initiative administered by the US Latinx Art Forum (USLAF) in collaboration with the New York Foundation for the Arts.

Now in its second year, the fellowship recognizes 15 of the most compelling Latinx visual artists working in the United States today and aims to address the systemic lack of support, visibility, and patronage for Latinx visual artists, individuals of Latin American or Caribbean descent, born or residing in the United States.

“USLAF is excited to continue our mission to advocate and uplift the important work of Latinx artists,” said Rose Salseda, Ph.D., Associate Director, US Latinx Art Forum. “The second cohort, as the first, represents the dynamic range of aesthetic practices that speak to the complex and diverse experiences of Latinxs throughout the United States and in Puerto Rico.”

The 2022 Latinx artist grantees, announced on May 12, include Brooklyn-based painter Candida Alvarez, Californian Jay Lynn Gomez, and Cuban-born artist Juana Valdes.

The first such initiative was launched in 2021, with a combined commitment of $5 million from the Mellon and Ford Foundations to provide $50,000 in unrestricted funds each to a total of 75 Latinx visual artists through 2025. The additional funds support grant administration and capacity building at USLAF.

“As the Latinx Artist Fellowship enters its second year, we at Mellon are energized by the extraordinary sweep of work these fifteen artists envision and create and the powerful perspectives and stories they bring to the visual arts,” said Elizabeth Alexander, President of the Mellon Foundation. “We congratulate this second cohort of fellows and are proud to join with Ford in supporting the US Latinx Art Forum.”

As explained by the Mellon Foundation in a press release, the 2022 class of fellows was chosen to reflect the diversity that exists within the Latinx community, highlighting the practices of female-identified, queer, and non-binary artists, as well as those from a variety of racial and ethnic backgrounds, ranging from Chicanax and Ecuadorian-American to Afro-Cuban and indigenous.

“We are thrilled to partner with Mellon and the US Latinx Art Forum to welcome and celebrate the second cohort of Latinx Artist Fellows,” said Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation. “These fifteen visual artists bring an unmatched breadth of perspectives and practices to the initiative and have made an indelible impact on American art today.”

The cohort includes artists working in places such as Baroda, Michigan; Farmington, New Mexico; San Anton, Carolina, Puerto Rico; and Nashville, Tennessee, while the aesthetic practices represented by the fellows span installation art, abstraction, and performance, as well as contemporary craft, textile, and fiber-based work.

The 2022 Latinx Fellows are:

Tanya Aguiñiga

she/her/ella

Craft Based Artist and Activist

Lives and works in Los Angeles, CA

Maria Gaspar

she/her/hers

Interdisciplinary Artist

Lives and works in Chicago, IL

Candida Alvarez

she/her

Visual Artist and Painter

Lives and works in Baroda, MI, and Chicago, IL

Jay Lynn Gomez

she/hers

Painting and Sculpture Artist

Lives and works in Los Angeles, CA

Amalia Mesa-Bains

she/her

Installation Artist, Curator, and Writer

Lives and works in Monterey, CA and San Francisco, CA

Juana Valdés

she/her/ella

Multidisciplinary Artist

Lives and works in Miami, FL, and New York, NY

María Magdalena Campos Pons

she/her

Multimedia Artist

Lives and works in Nashville, TN

Carmelita Tropicana 

she/her

Writer and Performance Artist

Lives and works in New York, NY

Leslie Martinez

they/them

Visual Artist and Painter

Lives and works in Dallas, TX

Lucia Hierro

she/her

Sculpture and Installation Artist

Lives and works in New York, NY

Koyoltzintli

she/her/hers

Interdisciplinary Artist

Lives and works in New York, NY

Las Nietas de Nonó

they/them

Multidisciplinary Artists

Lives and works in

San Antón, Carolina, Puerto Rico

Consuelo Jimenez Underwood

she/her

Contemporary Fiber Artist

Lives and works in Gualala, CA

Rosemary Meza-DesPlas

she/her/ella

Multidisciplinary Artist

Lives and works in Farmington, NM

Vincent Valdez

he/his

Visual Artist and Painter

Lives and works in Houston, TX