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2024 Ohio Artist Registry Juried Exhibition

María Elena González

Visual Artist MEGEstudioSculpture
Home 272 Sackett Street Apt. 1R
Brookly NY 11231 United States
Cell Phone: 7189648562 Website: Maria Elena González_gallery Website: María Elena González_FREDRIC SNITZER GALLERY


Cuban-born artist María Elena González is an internationally recognized sculptor based in Brooklyn, NY. González interweaves the conceptual with a strong dedication to craft in her complex installations and poetic arrangements, exploring themes like identity, memory, and dislocation. Over a career spanning thirty years she has won the Prix de Rome, the Grand Prize at the 30th Biennial of Graphic Arts at Ljubljana, Slovenia, a Guggenheim Fellowship and has been awarded grants from numerous foundations including Pollock-Krasner, Joan Mitchell, New York Foundation for the Arts, and Penny McCall. She has served as the Sculpture Commissioner of the New York City Public Design Commission and has also taught at Cooper Union School of Art, Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, and the San Francisco Art Institute among others. In 1999, González received widespread acclaim for her site-specific sculpture Magic Carpet/Home, commissioned by the Public Art Fund, and another site-specific work titled You & Me (2010), commissioned by Storm King Art Center. González’s work was featured at Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum, FIU, Miami, FL. Her work can be found in numerous public collections including the Kunstmuseum Basel, Switzerland; Museum voor Modern Kunst, Arnhem, The Netherlands; Museum of Art, The Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI; The Museum of Arts and Design, New York; and The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York.  In 2019, her acclaimed series “Tree Talk” was exhibited at Mills College Art Museum, Oakland, California and at Brattleboro Museum & Art Center, Vermont. In 2022, elements of “Tree Talk” were featured in Beyond the Sounds of Silence: Latin-American Artists Connecting Sound, Art, Society, Lowe Art Museum, University of Miami, Miami, FL; and “Riven” González’s second solo gallery exhibition with Hirschl & Adler Modern was presented in 2023.

Artist Statement

My Public Art work uses the physical Site itself as part of the inspiration and catalyst to the work. In many of the work samples, “Re: Public”, “Nani’s House”, the process began with a visit to the location, followed by meetings with representatives of the location from whom critical information was procured. Reviewing existing conditions, architectural plans, client concerns, staff input on programming, e.g. uses and activities in the identified spaces, is how a sculpture, installation or similar site-specific solution, will be developed. Memory and impermanence, dislocation, identity, celebration or travel, are themes explored in my work. These themes change accordingly to personal, political and professional circumstances. The wonder found in Nature also features prominently via imagery, format and content I believe that art can transcend a public space and engage viewer’s interest not only in Art but also in actively and positively changing public spaces. The first Public Art Project I was commissioned, by The Public Art Fund in New York City, started a series of community involvements.  Primarily how Art can transcend a public space and engage a neighborhood’s interest not only in Art but also in actively and positively changing their public spaces.  A brief example of this interaction was how the resident/families of Red Hook Public Housing in Brooklyn, took back the park in their neighborhood from local drug users.  Simply by interacting with the construction of my public art project and using the “sculpture” and its surroundings regularly; the drug users were pushed out of the park.  “Magic Carpet/Home”, was used to bicycle on, to play house on, and to discuss topics such as travel and building houses. Also the city took a pro-active approach to this particular park in up keeping with repairs to lamps, garbage pick up, lawn maintenance and plumbing repairs. Similar results were noted in other public art projects I did in Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Honolulu.  In each of these, a hands on approach meeting with the communities in these neighborhoods, has been a positive result in the success of my projects. The projects were always executed within budget and timeline.  My visual arts practice in the fine arts expands over two decades, fortunately being awarded many grants and fellowships for my accomplishments. The dedication, continuity, reliability and responsible execution of my practice, is testament to my qualifications for this project.


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