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Consuelo Jiménez Underwood Portrait

Consuelo Jiménez Underwood

Also Known as: Consuelo J. Underwood, Consuelo Jimenez Underwood

Sacramento, California 1949

Active in:

  • San Jose, California

Luce Artist Quote

"I begin with a cone or skein of thread, and often a piece of fabric. When I weave, sew, or embellish, the old ones seem to express their encouragement and support of my creations. The artwork becomes an external validation of memory and quest." Underwood, quoted in Johnson, Contemporary Chicana and Chicano Art, vol. 2, 2002


Fiber artist and weaver Consuelo Jiménez Underwood is the daughter of migrant agricultural workers, a Chicana mother and a father of Huichol Indian descent. She has degrees in religious studies and art, and today is a tenured professor at San Jose State University in California. In her richly textured creations, she weaves common threads of history and cultural resistance and affirmation.

Jonathan Yorba Arte Latino: Treasures from the Smithsonian American Art Museum (New York and Washington, D.C.: Watson-Guptill Publications, in cooperation with the Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2001)

Additional Biographies

Luce Artist Biography

Consuelo Jiménez Underwood grew up in California, the eleventh of twelve children born to a Chicana mother and a Huichol Indian father. She was the first person in her family to finish high school, and went on to enroll in religious studies and art at San Diego State University. She started as a painter, but became interested in fiber art while in college and soon turned all of her attention to weaving and textile design. Underwood imbues her pieces with powerful messages about her Chicana heritage, creating images that call attention to the dangers that Mexicans face trying to cross the border into the United States in search of a better life.