This year’s Latinx Artist Fellows (image courtesy US Latinx Art Forum)

Fifteen American artists of Latin American and Caribbean descent were named this year’s Latinx Artists Fellows. The fellowship is sponsored by the Ford Foundation and the Mellon Foundation, and the program is a collaboration between the New York Foundation for the Arts and the US Latinx Art Forum.

The 2022 Latinx Artist Fellows, announced yesterday, May 12, include Chicago, Illinois and Baroda, Michigan-based Candida Alvarez, California native Jay Lynn Gomez, and Cuban-born artist Juana Valdés. A complete list of fellows can be found at the end of this article.

Koyoltzintli is an interdisciplinary artist who lives and works in New York. Her work focuses on storytelling, rituals, and history. Koyoltzintli, “Medicine man and his helpers” (2017), from the series in the mouth of the mountain jaguar…, photograph and oil painting intervention (image courtesy Ford Foundation)

Each fellow will receive $50,000 in unrestricted funds. This is the fellowship’s second year, and the Ford and Mellon Foundations have pledged a total of $5 million to award 75 fellowships through 2025. The US Latinx Art Forum, which administers the fellowship, seeks to increase the visibility of Latinx artists and cultural workers — many of whom have been sidelined by the art historical discipline — in museums and academia. The organization distributes other artists grants as well, like the the CHARLA fund, which supports creators in projects that center artist-to-artist conversations.

Consuelo Jimenez Underwood lives and works in Gualala, California, where she uses fiber art to render the US-Mexico border. “Run, Jane Run!” (2014), woven cotton, linen, fabric, barbed wire, and caution tape, collection of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, museum purchase made possible by the Alturas Foundation (image courtesy Ford Foundation)

The fellows’ mediums range from performance art to fiber art to painting. The program is “deliberately intergenerational,” according to a press release, with a third of the fellows at an early stage in their careers, another third at the middle, and the last third being established artists. The fellows, who must live and work in the United States, reside across the country. They were selected from over 200 nominations by a jury of curators.

Vincent Valdez, based in Houston, Texas, examines memory and history through his painting. Vincent Valdez, “So Long, MaryAnne” (2019), oil on canvas (image courtesy Ford Foundation)

“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 Associate Director of the US Latinx Art Forum Rose Salseda in a statement

Jay Lynn Gomez is a painter and sculptor who lives and works in Los Angeles. Her work explores race, immigration, and labor, focusing on the people who build the environment around us. Jay Lynn Gomez, “No Splash” (2014), acrylic on canvas (image courtesy Ford Foundation)
New York-based Carmelita Tropicana is a writer and performance artist whose works addresses race, class, and gender and sexuality. Carmelita Tropicana, “Animal Performance” (2018) (image courtesy Ford Foundation)

In a press release, president of the Ford Foundation Darren Walker said, “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.”

A complete list of the 2022 Latinx Artists Fellows is below.

Tanya Aguiñiga
Craft-based artist and activist
Lives and works in Los Angeles, CA

Maria Gaspar
Interdisciplinary artist
Lives and works in Chicago, IL

Candida Alvarez
Visual artist and painter
Lives and works in Baroda, MI and Chicago, IL

Jay Lynn Gomez
Painting and sculpture artist
Lives and works in Los Angeles, CA

Amalia Mesa-Bains
Installation artist, curator, and writer
Lives and works in Monterey, CA and San Francisco, CA

Juana Valdés
Multidisciplinary artist
Lives and works in Miami, FL and New York, NY

María Magdalena Campos Pons
Multimedia artist
Lives and works in Nashville, TN

Carmelita Tropicana 
Writer and performance artist
Lives and works in New York, NY

Leslie Martinez
Visual artist and painter
Lives and works in Dallas, TX

Lucia Hierro
Sculpture and installation artist
Lives and works in New York, NY

Koyoltzintli
Interdisciplinary artist
Lives and works in New York, NY

Las Nietas de Nonó
Multidisciplinary artists
Lives and works in San Antón, Carolina, Puerto Rico

Consuelo Jimenez Underwood
Contemporary fiber artist
Lives and works in Gualala, CA

Rosemary Meza-DesPlas
Multidisciplinary artist
Lives and works in Farmington, NM

Vincent Valdez
Visual artist and painter
Lives and works in Houston, TX

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Elaine Velie

Elaine Velie is a writer from New Hampshire living in Brooklyn. She studied Art History and Russian at Middlebury College and is interested in art's role in history, culture, and politics.