Alfonso Fernandez is a contemporary visual artist whose art signals the intersection of culture, identity, and historical narratives. Born in Mexico City, Fernandez’s artistic journey began in Veracruz. After being removed from an exclusive art class, his grandmother taught him to extract colors from fruits and flowers and to dilute ink from posters to make notebooks. His family later immigrated to the United States, settling in Minneapolis, where Fernandez continued to pursue his passion for art.

Fernandez’s formal education in the arts commenced with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting and Printmaking from the University of Minnesota’s College of Liberal Arts. He went on to earn a Master of Fine Arts from the prestigious Hoffberger School of Painting at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) under the mentorship of Director Joan Waltemath. Grad school didn’t come without its own set of challenges, he was hit by a car on his first day of school and broke his dominant hand and arm in multiple places. Rather than giving up, Fernandez learned to paint with his non-dominant left hand and continued the program as planned. 

Since moving to Baltimore, his paintings have evolved in response to navigating a new and unfamiliar city, taking on abstraction in the wake of unrest, representations of societal memory, and figuration through the loss of identity. Each of these investigations is grounded in Fernandez’s experience moving from Mexico to the United States and his efforts balancing different cultures and languages, while handling the contested spaces of ethnicity and assimilation.

Fernandez’s paintings are social, psychological, and personal investigations in which he brings to light the idea that borders can be blurred and overlapped to reconsider the associative societal labels that are assigned to us. His work encourages a deeper exploration of the multifaceted nature of human existence by inviting us to reconsider the labels and divisions that shape our world, offering a compelling narrative that transcends borders and celebrates the richness of diverse experiences.

“I think they’re about resistance too, but most important what I was trying to project is that it’s not about me,” says Fernandez. “The paintings that I do are about those that don’t have a voice.”

Fernandez’s exhibitions garner critical acclaim, with his work showcased at prominent galleries including: C. Grimaldis Gallery, MD; Talkin Family Art Gallery, Howard Community College, MD; Creative Alliance, MD; Stevens Square Center for the Arts, MN; Katzen Art Center, American University, WDC; among others. He was a recipient of The Patterson Residency Program, Creative Alliance at the Patterson, Baltimore, MD.

Mark your calendar on June 13 from 4 – 6 p.m. for Fernandez’s event “Tracing Language with Painting” a workshop designed to explore the intersection of language and emotion. Participants will delve into the expressive potential of watercolor and mixed-media techniques. Through hands-on activities, attendees will learn how to convey thoughts, emotions, and dialogues using the elements of art.

Published On: May 24th, 2024 / Categories: Pine Meadow Ranch, Pine Meadow Ranch Programs, Uncategorized /