Esperanza Cortés is a Colombian-born multidisciplinary artist based in NYC, whose art is influenced by themes of identity, colonialism, place and beauty. Cortés’ story is one of resilience and artistic evolution. 

As a young immigrant, she was unable to communicate for her first years in the United States. To navigate this new language and culture, Cortés began drawing at four years old and never stopped making art. Despite barriers, her talent grew and led her to a lifelong artistic pursuit. “I could barely speak [English], but I drew like a demon every single day, and that got me through things,” said Cortés. “Art is a language unto itself.”

Cortés has experienced artist residencies at respected art institutions including UCROSS, Joan Mitchell Center, and our Central Oregon neighbor, Caldera Arts. During her residencies, the element of surprise becomes a guiding force to her art. The surprise could be an art form, found materials, or the experience and influence of the place. From the tranquil beauty of nature to the jarring realities of gun culture, to thrift shop treasures, each environment shapes her artistic perspective in unexpected ways and influences the work created at the residency. She learned of Pine Meadow Ranch Center for Arts and Agriculture residency program through her husband, fellow artist, and former PMRCAA artist-in-residence, Michael Pribich.

As Cortés prepares for her upcoming residency at The  Ranch, the theme of transitions and migrations resonates deeply, as her own art journey began from a major life transition and migration. 

Cortés has exhibited in the following countries: USA, Germany, Hungary, Slovakia, Poland, Japan, Spain, Greece, Mexico, Colombia, and the Dominican Republic. She has received awards from: Guggenheim Foundation, Joan Mitchell Foundation, NYSCA, NYFA, LMCC and her piece, “Tree of Life,” was recently acquired by the Museum of Fine Arts Boston.

Learn from Cortés at  The Memory Box Workshop on April 20, 1-5 p.m. or join her cohort for the Open Studio on May 9, 4-6 p.m. alongside fellow residents Minal Mistry and Giuseppe Ribaudo.

Published On: April 2nd, 2024 / Categories: Pine Meadow Ranch, Pine Meadow Ranch Programs /