Artist Mentorship Program

Home » Winter 2022 Artist Mentorship Program » Elsa Muñoz and Juan Molina Hernández

Elsa Muñoz and Juan Molina Hernández


Elsa Muñoz is a Mexican-American artist born and raised on the South Side of Chicago (1983). Muñoz credits her interest in both nature and healing to her experience growing up in an underserved and often unsafe community with little access to green spaces. Having to spend most of her childhood indoors led to the cultivation of a rich inner world in which she was able to find beauty and sanctuary. Her work explores the threads connecting ecology, culture and spirituality.

Elsa received her BFA in oil painting from the American Academy of Art in 2006. She’s since had 8 solo shows including one at the National Museum of Mexican Art (2011) and at the Union League Club of Chicago (2016) along with several group shows throughout the United States. She was recently awarded a SPARK Grant from the Chicago Artists Coalition (2022)  and was the recipient of the Helen and Tim Meier Foundation For The Arts Achievement Award (2019). Notable collections include the National Museum of Mexican Art (Chicago), North Park University (Chicago), and the private collection of Martin Castro, Chairman of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights under President Barack Obama.

Juan Molina Hernández (b.Guanajuato, México) is a Chicago-based visual artist. Molina Hernández’s art practice includes photography, textiles, and installations that explore narratives of belonging, home, lineage, and memory. By appropriating symbols from the environment, culture, and personal memory they construct stories in relation to place, family, and a culture that never speaks just one language.

Molina Hernández graduated from Northern Illinois University with a Bachelors of Fine Arts in photography. In the past, they have exhibited at ACRE Projects, ENGAGE Projects, Charlotte Street Foundation, Chicago Artist Coalition, Roman Susan, and Tiger Strikes Asteroid Chicago.