A self-taught musician and artist Cande Aguilar was born in 1972. Aguilar developed his distinctive artistic style he coined barrioPop by creating vibrant works that combine graffiti art, pop culture, and street phenomena deeply influenced by south Texas border culture.
Aguilar’s work has been featured in solo shows at The Brownsville Museum of Fine Art, International Museum of Arts & Science (McAllen) and group exhibits at MACLA Museum in California, Wichita Falls Museum of Art, Craighead Green Gallery, Cohn Drennan Contemporary Dallas, Kirk Hopper Fine Art Dallas, K Space Contemporary, 500X Gallery Dallas, Alexandria Museum of Art, LA, The Painting Center in New York, NY, Studio Apothiki, Paphos Cyprus, and a touring project curated by Boecker Contemporary, Heidelberg Germany; Spain (Tenerife) Belgium (Tamines) Forthcoming exhibitions Antwerp, The Netherlands and Germany, Perwez in Belgium…and next year (2018) Vienna, Rome and Lisboa.
San Antonio, Texas
Jenelle Esparza is a South Texas native originally from Corpus Christi, TX. She is a multimedia artist with interdisciplinary practices that include installations in fiber, photography, and sculpture. She received her BFA in photography from the University of Texas at San Antonio in 2010 and is co-owner of Presa House Gallery in San Antonio, TX. She was the recipient of the 2015 NALAC (Nat’l Association of Latino Arts and Culture) Artist Grant for her project El Color de la Obra about the interconnected histories of South Texas cotton fields and was the Texas resident artist for the Artpace International AIR in the summer of 2018. She has exhibited nationally and currently works as a Museum Educator at the McNay Art Museum.
Alejandro Macias was born in 1987 and raised in Brownsville, TX along the U.S./ Mexico border, and received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Texas at Brownsville and a Master of Fine Arts in 2-D Studio Art from the University of Texas – Pan American. Since 2016 Macias has been an art instructor at UTRGV School of Art following the untimely passing of his predecessor and mentor Carlos G. Gomez. Macias’ work is driven by his identity as a Mexican-American artist and the current political times. His art addresses themes of immigration, diversity, ethnicity, and heritage. His most recent work explores the physical presence of the Rio Grande River as a boundary between two distinct cultures and the larger Rio Grande Valley as a fertile territory where Mexican and American cultures fuse in unique ways. His art conveys the struggle of embodying a singular identity, with works that reflect intimate Mexican values, traditions, and a conservative upbringing, in confluence with diversity, change, and progress seen as “Americanization.” Macias’ work has been exhibited throughout Texas and in Colorado, New York, North Dakota, Missouri, and South Korea. Macias is also member of the board of the Brownsville Museum of Fine Art and is a lecturer at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley in drawing, painting, and design.
San Antonio, Texas
Jose Villalobos was born in 1988 and grew up on the US/Mexico border in El Paso, TX, and was raised in a traditional conservative family. His oeuvre reconciles the identity challenges in his life caught in between traditional Mexican customs and American mores as well as growing up with religious ideals that contrast with being gay. In his artistic practice, Villalobos explores traditionally “macho” objects and reduces their masculinity often through deconstruction and embellishment.
Villalobos received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Texas at San Antonio in 2016. He was awarded the Artist Lab Fellowship Grant that same year for his work De La Misma Piel at the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center. In December of 2018 Villalobos was one of 25 recipients of the Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptors Grant, awarded annually to under-recognized artists working in the United States through a nomination and subsequent jury vote. Villalobos has exhibited and performed regionally, nationally, and internationally including exhibits at the Mexic-Arte Museum, Austin, TX; El Paso Museum of Art, TX; El Museo de Arte de Ciudad Juarez, Mexico; and will be included in the McNay Art Museum’s summer 2019 exhibition Transamerica/n: Gender, Identity, Appearance Today.