Maria Esther Fernandez


María Esther Fernández is a curator working on her M.A. in Visual and Critical Studies. For over 13 years, she has worked as Curator of Art & Education at the Triton Museum of Art. This year, she was promoted to Chief Curator.

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About Maria E. Fernandez’ Thesis Project


Maria Esther Fernandez

Engaging the Spirit: The Curative Curatorial Challenge to the Contemporary Art Museum

This thesis presents an analysis of Celia Herrera Rodríguez’s artistic practice that remaps Indigenous ways of knowing and being, providing the Xicanx community with a new framework with which to understand systemic oppression. Herrera Rodríguez’s artistic practice has political implications beyond that of healing the individual or collective identity of a community that I argue disrupts how the contemporary art museum exhibits, collects, and constructs the art object.  I propose a curative curatorial model that requires curators to consider new methods of interpretation that center the experience of the artist, incorporating memory and spiritual tradition as sources of knowledge production to intervene in a contemporary art landscape that continues marginalized, misinterpreted and/or misrepresented work by Xicanx artists in the mainstream contemporary art museum. 

Watch Symposium Presentation