Graduate Student, MFA Program
- BFA, School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Emerson is a multidisciplinary artist who received their bachelor of Fine Arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). They have exhibited their work in Chicago, Il, New York City, NY, and Austin TX. Currently, they are exploring topics dealing with shame, inequality, endurance, and tolerance.
Emerson was born in Guatemala and immigrated to the United States at a very young age. Growing up, they didn’t see other artists or academics who looked like them, and they are proud to be increasing the representation of queer and Latinx artists. Emerson’s use of body and durational performance is a direct reflection of the lack of representation in the art world. Their live performances can last up to 5 hours where they hope to challenge the audience’s comfort levels and intolerance.
In Chicago, they were an associate board member at Sarah’s Inn, an agency that provides services for families affected by domestic violence. When they lived in Texas, they were part of Art Alliance Austin and was an Associate Director for CAMIBArt Gallery. They currently work at the AIDS Action Committee, where they help provide emergency assistance to people who are HIV-positive. Emerson sees these activities as an extension of his work as an artist, and says, “Art has always given me a space to have a voice and use that voice to advocate for others.”