Esperanza Cortés is a Colombian born New York City based multidisciplinary artist. Her interest in the folk art traditions, art rituals, music and dance of Latin America, The Caribbean and Africa and their continuous and evolving changes are at the core of her sculpture, installations and interventions. Esperanza uses a wide variety of materials and sculptural methods often in combinations with reworked found objects that are impregnated with cultural symbols and archeological qualities that act as sites of memory. These artworks are about individual and collective memory and implements the human body as a symbol and expression of nature, vulnerability and power. Her recent work examines the extent to which a consciousness, national, cultural, familial or personal, defines itself through the opposing force of a transcultural experience.
Esperanza Cortés work has been exhibited, in solo and group shows at venues including: Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase, NY; Bronx Museum of the Arts, Bronx, NY; Queens Museum of Art, Queens, NY; El Museo Del Barrio, New York, NY, MoMA PS1, Long Island City, NY; Museum of Contemporary Hispanic Art, New York, NY; Bergen Museum, Bergen, NJ; Socrates Sculpture Park, Long Island City, NY; Artist Space, New York, NY; Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art, Staten Island, NY; Carla Stellweg Gallery, New York, NY; White Box Gallery, New York, NY; Blum - Helman Gallery, New York, NY; Bertha and Karl Leubsdorf Art Gallery, New York, NY; City Gallery, DCA, New York, NY; Lehman College Gallery, Bronx, NY: John Jay University, New York, NY; Wave Hill, Bronx, NY; Art in General, New York, NY; Taller Boricua Gallery, New York, NY; Longwood Art Gallery, Bronx, NY: Tribes Gallery, New York, NY. Nationally Cortes has exhibited at venues including Cleveland Art Museum, Cleveland, OH: New York State Museum, Albany, NY; The Mexic-Arte Museum, Austin, TX; Hollywood Arts and Cultural Center, Hollywood, FL; Helen Day Art Center, Stowe, VT; The Lorenzo Homar Gallery, Philadelphia, PA; Deland Museum of Art, Deland, FL; Joanne Rapp Gallery, Scottsdale, AZ. Internationally she has exhibited in Germany, Hungary, Slovakia, Poland, Greece, Japan, Mexico, Colombia, Dominican Republic and Spain.
Cortés’s work has been reviewed in The New York Times, The Village Voice, The New York Post, New Art Examiner and Spanish language publications such as El Diario La Prensa and Imagen Magazine. Cortés has been the subject of interviews and programs on public radio and public television in the USA. Articles about her work have appeared in International Newspapers, Art blogs, Television and Radio programs in Europe, South America and the Caribbean. Her work has appeared in many museum catalogues and publications.
Esperanza Cortés has designed and implemented workshops, created projects and taught extensively as an artist in residence and community artist creating murals, sculptures, site specific installations and visual arts projects through Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, New York, NY; Museum of the City of New York, New York, NY; Columbia University, New York, NY; El Museo Del Barrio, New York, NY; Brooklyn Children's Museum, Brooklyn, NY; Brooklyn Arts Council, Brooklyn, NY; Museum of African Arts, Brooklyn, NY; Elders Share the Arts, Brooklyn, NY; Socrates Sculpture Park, Long Island City, NY. She has also worked as a museum educator for The Museum of Modern Art. Through Collaboration with Young Audiences of New York, Esperanza created project residencies with community exhibitions at the Whitney Museum of Art, New York, NY and The Museum of Art and Design, New York, NY.
Cortés has been the recipient of numerous grants and awards. Select awards include: The Joan Mitchell Foundation 2014 Painters & Sculptors Grant, New York, NY; The Puffin Foundation, Teaneck, NJ; Bronx Museum of the Arts, Bronx, NY; New York State Biennial, Albany, NY and New York Foundation for the Arts. Esperanza Cortés work is in private and public collections with an acquisition of three sculptures by the Art in Embassies Program for the New American Embassy in Monterey, Mexico.
Esperanza Cortés's many notable international and national fellowship and artist residencies include: The Joan Mitchell Center, New Orleans, LA; Webb School of Knoxville, Knoxville, TN; Sculpture Space, Utica, NY; Caldera, Sisters, OR; Bronx River Art Center, Bronx, NY; Bronx Museum of Art, Bronx, NY; MoMA PS1, Long Island City, NY; Henry Street Settlement Abrons Art Center, New York, NY: Fountainhead Residency, Miami, FL: Fellowship, Socrates Sculpture Park, Long Island City, NY; Fellowship, The Longwood Art Project, Bronx, NY: Brooklyn Children’s Museum Residency, Brooklyn, NY. Esperanza has also received international residencies at Altos de Chavon, Dominican Republic, Can Serrat, Spain and Bielska BWA Gallery, Poland.