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Artist Gina Herrera

Gina Herrera

Bakersfield, CA, USA


American,   —   Gina Herrera was raised in Chicago and currently resides in California. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art Education from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. In the course of her studies, she was deployed overseas in support of several war contingencies with the United States Army. While serving in Iraq, miles of mountainous trash heaps amidst the devastation of combat galvanized a life-long love of nature into an activist’s calling. Her art practice evolved to lessen her environmental footprint, and to consciously channel Mother Earth in a spiritual and aesthetic ritual drawing from her personal affinity to nature as well as her Tesuque and Costa Rican heritage. Once her final tour was complete, she obtained her Master of Fine Arts from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. During her time as a graduate student, she was awarded a Provost Fellowship, a MFA scholarship and was nominated for the Joan Mitchell MFA Foundation Award in 2012. Herrera received a full fellowship from the Harpo Foundation Native American Fellowship to attend the Vermont Studio Center in 2013, a full fellowship to attend the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts in 2015, a United States Veteran Fellowship to attend the Hambidge Center for the Creative Arts and Sciences in 2016 and The Ox-Bow Summer Arts Faculty Residency in 2016. She also received a Peripheral Arts Foundation’s Fully Funded Publication Fellowship for Emerging Women Artists, as well as a grant from the Ruth and Harold Chenven Foundation. In 2017, she received a grant from the Puffin Foundation, and in 2018, 2022 received a Norman Levan Summer Grant for Bakersfield College Faculty. In 2022, she received a grant from the Demil Art Fund. She has been privileged to receive recognition for her work: her work won a Best In Show award at the 2017 West Coast Biennal at Turtle Bay Exploration Park in Redding, CA, and in 2019 won the Helen Longmire award at the Anne Metzger National Biennia a the St. Louis Artist Guild in St. Louis, MO. Her work was among the top 25 in Dave Bown Projects 11th Semiannual Competition; she is a seven time Art Slant Showcase Winner as well as a Juried Winner, and has received an Art Kudos Merit award and The Manhattan Arts International Award of Excellence. She is currently creating and exhibiting work in galleries around the country, as well as exploring avenues for creating larger scale permanent public art projects, to bring her message of environmental mindfulness to even more people. Her first temporary public art installation was in residence at the Valencia Town Center in Santa Clarita, CA for the first four months of 2016, and from 2017-2019 an installation was on display at the South Bend Museum in South Bend, Indiana. Herrera’s dedication to service extends to all aspects of her professional life – from her almost 25 years in the United States Military to educating and inspiring the next generation as an art teacher at Arvin High School and adjunct professor at Bakersfield College.

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