Jasmine Zelaya


Jasmine Zelaya is a graduate of the Kansas City Art Institute and received her BFA in Painting in 2006. She was awarded a residency through the Charlotte Street Foundation’s Urban Culture Project in Kansas City, Missouri, in 2008. Based in Houston, her work has been exhibited throughout the US, including in association with the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts and Deitch Projects. She was the cover artist for New American Paintings, West Issue #132. In 2018, her painting “Twins” was displayed on the Main Street Marquee, a billboard- sized installation displayed on the exterior of the Main Street Market building in Downtown Houston. Most recently, her work was selected for inclusion in ArtMaze Magazine, Winter Issue 11.

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Artist Statement My work is informed by my experience as a woman of color. Through portraiture and the language of paint, my work explores themes of identity, beauty, gender and race through the ritual of ornamentation. Painterly and glittery surfaces abound, intersecting with textural swales of color. Myriads of luminous rhinestones speckle the landscape. Floral elements are utilized as graphic representations of not only a familial narrative, but also the contrast of the natural and artificial world. Lush flowers, vines and patterns emerge in order to immerse the subject and capture the viewer’s attention. The subjects are at once disengaged while others display various degrees of intimacy. The women are depicted as both virtuous and erotic vessels, and draws references from Bernini’s “The Ecstasy of St. Teresa.” The distinction of emotions is convoluted. There is at once a sense of eroticism blurred with anguish. The duality of these themes, are as much relevant today as they were during the 17th century.

Art Blocks artist, Jasmine Zelaya reflects on her interest in fashion and music of the 60s and 70s, her fascination with religious iconography and her preoccupation with concerns of modern society, in her piece titled, "Twins," which is on display in


Heights, Houston, Texas