Latinx Artist Fellowship

Home » Jenelle Esparza

Jenelle Esparza

Multidisciplinary Artist

San Antonio, TX

Instagram @jenelle.esparza

My work is rooted in the concept of memory and portrays a state of existence. My work and practice are deeply interwoven with the historical significance of cotton, which serves as my primary source material. With its rich history, this fiber holds great personal and familial significance. On a larger scale, cotton represents the global and regional history of Tejano and Latino families and their connection through their lineage of labor harvesting the fiber in South Texas fields for generations.

Jenelle Esparza is an interdisciplinary artist who was born in the coastal city of Corpus Christi, TX. She attended the University of Texas at San Antonio and received her BFA in photography in 2010. She currently lives and works in San Antonio. 

Esparza examines the lesser-known history of cotton and labor in South Texas through photography and textiles, and incorporates concepts of body movement, history, gender, identity, culture, and race. Her recent projects utilize textiles and found objects to explore the parallels between landscape and bodily experiences, and the implications of generational trauma.

Esparza has exhibited nationally in institutions such as The DePaul Art Museum in Chicago, IL; Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and The Momentary in Bentonville, AR; and Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. She is the recipient of numerous honors including 2015 National Association of Latino Arts and Culture (NALAC) Artist Grant, the Artpace International Artist Residency, and the National Performance Network Artist Engagement Fund. Her work is also included in the permanent collection of the San Antonio Museum of Art and the Art Museum of South Texas.

Selected Works

Red thread cascades from a white textile wall hanging. To each side of the wall hanging are two wall hangings composed of white and blue geometric forms against a brown background.
An array of wall hangings featuring natural materials, printed pigment, and cotton hang on an earth-toned wall.
Two cotton wall hangings featuring rosaries surround each side of a wire fence with an array of flowers and colorful rosaries suspended from it.