Illustrated by Genesis Hahn
Illustrated by Genesis Hahn
By Jackie Ammons 9/13/22 11:31 p.m
This Thursday marks the start of National Hispanic Heritage Month, which recognizes the achievements and influence of Latino communities and individuals across the US. To celebrate, here are five Houston-based Latin artists to support this month and beyond. More great local artists can be found through the Houston Latino Artist Registry from the Inter-University Program for Latino Research.
Born in El Paso, TX, artist Adriana Corral draws on her experiences as a native Texan to create works that touch on issues of immigration, human rights abuses, and often erased historical narratives. Her research-based artistic practice leads her to seek out primary documents and collaborate with historians, anthropologists, human rights lawyers and victims’ families to create her work. Corral’s art challenges history and injustice through visually minimal but thought-provoking conceptual pieces. She invites the viewer to question the collective memory of history and what has been forgotten or deliberately erased.
Gabriel Martinez is an artist, writer and artist working in Houston. After graduating from Columbia University with a Master of Fine Arts, he attended the Whitney Museum of American Art’s Independent Study Program In New York. Martinez uses a variety of mediums, including fabric collages, photography, musical performances and more. Key themes he explores in his work include the social dynamics of public space, often repurposing found objects to create public art outside of gallery spaces.
Martinez also founded Alabama Songa space for experimental work that can be shared across cultural disciplines.
For those who prefer more representative work, Vincent Valdez is known for using stiff brushwork and mastery of lighting as a vehicle to bring forgotten histories to light. Much of Valdez’s work deals with challenging subjects to address the state of contemporary society. Through his monumental oil paintings, Valdez creates distinctive contemporary works that comment on the pervasiveness of racism, forcing the viewer to consider how white supremacy thrives in modern society.
One of Valdez’s paintings from the series “The Strangest Fruit” is currently on view at the Museum of Fine Art Houston’s Nancy and Rich Kinder Building as part of the third floor Border/Mapping/Witness gallery.
Deborah Barrera is a multidisciplinary artist and curator who creates works that deal with the concept of home. Her experience growing up in a modest home in Corpus Christi shaped a desire to ask what defines the concept of home, exploring the question in many of her series and exhibitions.
If you want to see some of her work in person, look no further than the Rice campus. One of Barrera’s public pieces was commissioned for Brockman Hall in 2015. “Asymmetrical Finders” features screen-printed images representing the various fields of study within physics and astronomy.
This list would be incomplete without at least one mural, and Ana Marietta has over ten years of experience with the art form. Marietta graduated from the University of Puerto Rico with a degree in Animal Sciences. Since then, she has turned her love of animals into an artistic practice focused on creating imaginary animals and whimsical characters, such as flying fish and swimming birds. Marietta use these physical impossibilities as reminders that anyone can make the unthinkable come true through their art.
Marietta’s murals are all over the city – check out UP Art Studios Houston Mural Map to help locate them in person and discover other local artists’ work at the same time.