Artist and sculptor Beatriz Cortez, a professor of Central American Studies at California State University, Northridge, has been named as one of three recipients of the 2020 Los Angeles Artadia Award.
Artadia is a national non-profit organization that identifies innovative visual artists and supports them with unrestricted financial awards and connections to a network of opportunities. The other awardees are artist and designer Amir H. Fallah and photo-collage and video artist, Suné Woods. Cortez will receive an award of $10,000.
“To me, it was a great honor to be a part of this group of artists,” Cortez said. “The finalists were artists that I admire and are amazing. I am sure it was a difficult decision to make.”
Cortez’s artworks — which have been exhibited across the United States and around the world – explore topics of simultaneity, multiple temporalities, memory and loss in the aftermath of war and migration.
“What inspires me is life around me in the city of Los Angeles and its connection to other locations,” Cortez said. “I think the life of immigrants in this city is quite invisible. My work is, at the same time, imagining possible futures and portraying the labor of immigrants. It is very important to continue doing this work and to continue thinking about all the labor immigrants do to maintain our city.”
Cortez was recently selected to receive the Thomas Silliman Vanguard Award from the prestigious Vincent Price Art Museum at East Los Angeles College in recognition of the trajectory of her career as an artist. The award ceremony, which was scheduled to take place on March 28, has been postponed to a later date during the summer. In October 2019, she was awarded the Frieze LIFEWATR Inaugural Sculpture Prize and invited to create a major new work for Frieze Sculpture at Rockefeller Center in New York City this year.
Cortez’s solo exhibition, “Other Frequencies,” was scheduled to open at Commonwealth and Council in the Koreatown-Westlake neighborhood of Los Angeles on March 28 but will also be postponed to a later date. Other works by Cortez are currently on view at the Henry Art Gallery at the University of Washington in Seattle and the Museo MARTE in San Salvador, El Salvador.
As a professor at CSUN, Cortez specializes in contemporary Central American literature and culture from interdisciplinary perspectives, the construction of memory, and imaginaries of the future. She is the author of “Aesthetics of Cynicism: Passion and Disenchantment in Central American Post War Fiction.”
To see more of Cortez’s work, visit https://beatrizcortez.com/.