Teresita Fernández: Process and Practice

“When I was a child, Miami didn’t have any museums… So, it is especially satisfying to come back and see the important presence that contemporary art now has here… There are almost no models for being a U.S. Latinx contemporary woman artist with visibility in the mainstream art world — one who also claims her ethnicity, without having to choose either/or. The constant need to choose between one’s artistic integrity and representing identity for others, coupled with the lack of examples of Latinx artists in American museum collections, points to larger issues of institutional racism, whitewashing and inequity in our museums and art-history narratives, or what gets to be called “American art” (Sealy).”

In addition to speaking out against these issues through her work Fernández also organized the U.S. Latinx Arts Futures Symposium. The event, first hosted in 2016, and again in 2019, by the Ford Foundation, brought together 200 artists, museum directors, scholars, curators and funders to talk about the lack of Latinx representation in the arts. Speaking to the importance of the symposium and Fernández’s leadership, Darren Walker, President of the Ford Foundation said, “Teresita is revealing the complexity of the Latinx conversation and taking a public leadership role in holding the mirror up to the art world” (Sheets).

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