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Ford, Mellon Foundations Name 2022 $50,000

Ford, Mellon Foundations Name 2022 Winners of $50,000 Latinx Artist Fellowships, Including Amalia Mesa-Bains, Las Nietas de Nonó

Last year, the Ford Foundation and Mellon Foundation, two of the country’s largest philanthropic funders in the arts, joined forces to establish the Latinx Artist Fellowship, which will support the work of 75 Latinx artists at various stages in their careers over a five-year period.

Now, the foundations have announced the second cohort of artists who will each receive a $50,000 unrestricted grant to support their careers. Administered by the US Latinx Art Forum, each 15-person cohort is composed of 5 emerging artists, 5 mid-career artists, and 5 established artists.

“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,” Mellon Foundation president Elizabeth Alexander, said in a statement.

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Ford, Mellon Foundations Name 2022 $50,000

This year’s group of artist include pioneering artists like Chicana fiber artist Amalia Mesa-Bains, who is known for her groundbreaking altar installations as well as for her scholarship of Chicanx art, and will have a major exhibition at SFMOMA next months; Consuelo Jimenez Underwood, who is the subject of a major monograph by art historians Laura E. Pérez and Ann Marie Leimer to be published by Duke University Press in August; and María Magdalena Campos Pons, who represented Cuba at the Venice Biennale in 2013.

Other grantees include some of today’s most closely watched artists, like painter Jay Lynn Gomez, the video collective Las Nietas de Nonó, and Tanya Aguiñiga, who won the $250,000 Heinz Award in 2021 and oversaw an initiative known as the BIPOC Exchange at this year’s Frieze Los Angeles.

Chosen from a group of more than 200 nominations, this year’s cohort of 15 artists were selected to “reflect the diversity that exists within the Latinx community, highlighting the practices of women-identified, queer, and non-binary artists, as well as those from a variety of racial and ethnic backgrounds, ranging from Chicanx and Ecuadorian-American to Afro-Cuban and Indigenous,” according to a release.

A person with dark skin wearing a dress pulls an opaque plastic helmet over their face while surrounded by small video screens and foliage.

Las Nietas de Nonó, Ilustraciones de la Mecánica, performance at Whitney Biennial 2019, New York, 2019.
Photo: Paula Court.

Special attention was also placed on being representative of geographical location—from Puerto Rico to California, Texas to Chicago—and to a range of artistic practices. “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,” said art historian Rose Salseda, who also serves as associate director of USLAF.

The selection committee included curators Rita Gonzalez (at Los Angeles County Museum of Art), Marcela Guerrero (Whitney Museum in New York), and Cesáreo Moreno (National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago); poet danilo machado; and three artists from last year’s cohort, Elia Alba, Celia Álvarez Muñoz, and Vick Quezada.

In a statement, Ford Foundation president Darren Walker said, “These 15 visual artists bring an unmatched breadth of perspectives and practices to the initiative and have made an indelible impact on American art today.”

The full list of the 2022 Latinx Artist Fellows follows below.

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

María Magdalena Campos Pons
she/her
Multimedia Artist
Lives and works in Nashville, TN

Lucia Hierro
she/her
Sculpture and Installation Artist
Lives and works in New York, NY

Consuelo Jimenez Underwood
she/her
Contemporary Fiber Artist
Lives and works in Gualala, CA

Amalia Mesa-Bains
she/her
Installation Artist, Curator, and Writer
Lives and works in Monterey, CA and San Francisco, CA

Carmelita Tropicana
she/her
Writer and Performance Artist
Lives and works in New York, NY

Koyoltzintli
she/her/hers
Interdisciplinary Artist
Lives and works in New York, NY

Rosemary Meza-DesPlas
she/her/ella
Multidisciplinary Artist
Lives and works in Farmington, NM

Juana Valdés
she/her/ella
Multidisciplinary Artist
Lives and works in Miami, FL and  New York, NY

Leslie Martinez
they/them
Visual Artist and Painter
Lives and works in Dallas, TX

Las Nietas de Nonó
they/them
Multidisciplinary Artists
Lives and works in
San Antón, Carolina, Puerto Rico

Vincent Valdez
he/his
Visual Artist and Painter
Lives and works in Houston, TX

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