A pioneer of the Chicano art movement, Ester Hernandez grew up in a migrant farm-working community. One of six children, she was born and raised in the central San Joaquin Valley of California, an area known for its natural beauty and for its integral relationship to the ongoing farm-worker struggle.
Inspired by her family —her mother continued the family tradition of embroidery from Central Mexico; her grandfather was a master carpenter and made religious sculpture in his spare time; Ester’s father was an amateur photographer and visual artist—and by her personal involvement with the farm-worker community, Ester developed a great interest in community arts, committing herself to “visually depict[ing] the dignity, strength, experiences and dreams of Latina women through printmaking and pastels.” (E.H.)
For thirty years, Ester Hernandez has created art relating to farm-workers, pesticides, laborers, women’s issues, civil rights and social justice. Her work has been exhibited nationally at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C., UCLA, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Mexican Museum, Galería de la Raza and other venues. Internationally, her works have been presented in Japan, Mexico, Poland, England and other countries.
Currently, Ester Hernandez devotes herself to teaching and managing at Creativity Explored, a San Francisco art production and education center for developmentally-challenged adults.
Ester Hernandez’s contribution to Chicano art and to the Latino community is highly inspirational. She is a role model for younger generations of Latino artists, Latino women, and activists.