Artist

Consuelo Jimenez Underwood

born Sacramento, CA 1949
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Also known as
  • Consuelo J. Underwood
Born
Sacramento, California, United States
Active in
  • San Jose, California, United States
Nationalities
  • American
Biography

Fiber artist and weaver Consuelo Jimenez 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)

Luce Artist Biography

Consuelo Jimenez 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.

Videos

Exhibitions

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Subversive, Skilled, Sublime: Fiber Art by Women
May 31, 2024January 5, 2025
The artists in Subversive, Skilled, Sublime: Fiber Art by Women mastered and subverted the everyday materials of cotton, felt, and wool to create deeply personal artworks. This exhibition presents an alternative history of twentieth-century American art by showcasing the work of artists such as Emma Amos, Sheila Hicks, and Faith Ringgold, who, stitch by stitch, utilized fiber materials to express their personal stories and create resonant and intricate artworks.
Quilt featuring the portrait of a woman
This Present Moment: Crafting a Better World
May 13, 2022April 2, 2023
This Present Moment: Crafting a Better World showcases the dynamic landscape of American craft today. The exhibition highlights the role that artists play in our world to spark essential conversations, stories of resilience, and methods of activism—showing us a more relational and empathetic world. It centers more expansive definitions and acknowledgments of often-overlooked histories and contributions of women, people of color, and other marginalized communities.

Related Books

Six duotone book covers are show with "This Present Moment" in black text
This Present Moment: Crafting a Better World
This Present Moment: Crafting a Better World showcases American craft like never before. Accompanying a 2022 exhibition of the same name, it features artists’ stories of resilience, methods of activism, and highlights craft’s ability to spark essential conversations about race, gender, and representation. This book marks the fiftieth anniversary of the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Renwick Gallery, the nation’s preeminent center for the enjoyment of American craft. It honors the history of the American studio craft movement while also introducing progressive contemporary narratives.