Tanya Aguiñiga in her studio. © Coral von Zumwalt 2018
Tanya Aguiñiga, Palapa [foreground], 2017, powder-coated steel and synthetic hair, Nopal [background], 2017, abaca pulp, clay, alpaca, flax, succulents, iron, horsehair, cochineal (live and dead), copper, gold, and human hair, Courtesy Volume Gallery, Chicago. Image courtesy Volume Gallery, Chicago
Tanya Aguiñiga, Hand-Felted Folding Chairs, 2006–present, hand-felted metal folding chairs, Collection of the artist. Image courtesy Tanya Aguiñiga Studio
Tanya Aguiñiga, Border Quipu/Quipu Fronterizo, 2016-18, recycled dress and bathing suit straps, Collection of the artist. Image courtesy Gina Clyne PhotographyTanya Aguiñiga, Border Quipu/Quipu Fronterizo, 2016-18, recycled dress and bathing suit straps, Collection of the artist. Image courtesy Gina Clyne Photography
Tanya Aguiñiga (born 1978, San Diego, CA) is a Los Angeles–based artist, designer, and activist. Her work provokes conversation surrounding gender and nationality, often drawing from her background as a Mexican American woman and mother. Aguiñiga crafts furniture, textiles, wearable pieces, sculptures, and site-specific installations that incorporate a range of natural materials, from beeswax to wool to human hair. Using the collaborative nature of craft, she promotes collective creation within communities, spearheading art-based advocacy projects including the Border Art Workshop/Taler de Arte Fronterizo in Maclovio Rojas, Mexico, and AMBOS (Art Made Between Opposite Sides), spanning the US-Mexico border, which seeks to document the emotions of commuters crossing it and gives voice to binational artists.
Aguiñiga grew up in Tijuana, Mexico, crossing the border into San Diego to attend school. She subsequently studied furniture design as an undergraduate at San Diego State University and as a graduate student at the Rhode Island School of Design. Recent solo exhibitions include Reindigenzing the Self (2017) at Volume Gallery in Chicago, the gallery that represents her, and Tanya Aguiñiga: Craft and Care (2018) at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York. Her work is in collections across the United States, including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the Mint Museum in Charlotte, North Carolina. Aguiñiga has been featured on the PBS program Craft in America and on the cover of American Craft Magazine. She is a United States Artists Target Fellow and has received grants from Creative Capital and the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures. Aguiñiga received the 2018 Johnson Fellowship for Artists Transforming Communities.