Latinx Artist Fellowship

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Consuelo Jimenez Underwood

Contemporary fiber artist

Gualala, CA


My work is a reflection of personal border experiences: the interconnectedness of societies, insisting on beauty in struggle, and celebrating the notion of “seeing” this world through my tri-cultural lens. With thread and needle, I continue to express the quiet rage that has permeated the Americas for over 500 years.

Consuelo Jimenez Underwood (she/her) was born in Sacramento, California, the daughter of migrant agricultural workers, a Chicano mother and a father of Huichol Indian descent. Crossing borders and negotiating between three perspectives has always been fundamental to her identity and the basis of her creative process. Consuelo’s work ranges from delicate miniature tapestries to monumental fiber and mixed media installations juxtaposing the natural beauty and ecological destruction along the US/Mexico border.

Consuelo has exhibited and lectured nationally and internationally for more than thirty years. Her work is part of the permanent collections of museums such as the Smithsonian American Museum of Art, Museum of Art & Design in New York, the National Hispanic Center for the Arts, New Mexico, the Mexican Museum in San Francisco, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, and the Oakland Museum of California. She was awarded the 2017 Master Artist Grant from the National Association of Latino Arts and Culture and was elected to the Council of Fellows of the American Craft Council in 2018. She was a 2021 recipient of the James Renwick Alliance for Craft Masters of the Medium Award.Consuelo received her BA and MA from San Diego State University. She began teaching fiber art at San Jose State University in 1987, where she received her MFA. Now retired, she taught for more than twenty years, developing a vibrant fiber program, inspiring young artists to embrace thread. Consuelo’s work will be examined in depth in the anthology, Consuelo Jimenez Underwood: Art, Weaving, Vision, edited by Laura E. Pérez, PhD. and Ann Marie Leimer, PhD.

Selected Works

A woven rectangle, representing a merging of the US and Mexico Flags. The center section is white with a hoop form in the middle. The left side has a blue square at the top and white and red stripes, representing the US flag. The right side has a red square at the top and a green square at the bottom, representing the Mexico Flag. Across the rectangle, is stitched the jagged line of the US/Mexico border.
Run, Jane Run! This image is of a woven yellow rectangle. In the center of the weaving is a “caution” sign with a running family in the center. These signs were once placed in Southern California, near the US/Mexico border, to alert drivers to families compelled to cross the border illegally.
A white wall with an image depicting the US/Mexico border states, painted in blue paint. A white jagged line, representing the borderline runs across the image. This line is amplified by red threads drawn across large nails marking the border towns in California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. Large fabric flowers, representing the state flowers of the four border states are placed on the wall. Lengths of barbed wire with beads hanging from them (power wands) are placed to the sides of the painted space.