Fine Art Focus: Tanya Aguiñiga

by Grace Bonney

I met Tanya Aguiñiga for the first time when she joined me for the first-ever Biz Ladies West Coast meetup in Los Angeles in 2008. In addition to being completely and totally enamored of her work (I still have such a crush on her felted folding chairs), getting to know her in person started a lifelong appreciation for her generosity of spirit and all-around openminded creativity. I have quite simply never met anyone as creative as Tanya.

What I love most about Tanya’s artwork is the message and mission behind it. While the colorful, texture-filled aspects of her aesthetic are of course beautiful, what strikes me most about her work is the way she combines art and activism. Tanya cares deeply about social justice, appreciating (and supporting) native cultures, and recognizing and fairly paying all of those involved in traditional crafts and artwork. Her “craft happenings” are a sort of arts-based sit-in that draw attention to the injustice and inequality in both the art world and the world at large. I couldn’t love and admire Tanya any more if I tried, and I was so honored to include her in our upcoming book, In The Company of Women (that’s her on the cover!). Read on to learn more about Tanya and her amazing work. xo, grace

Artist: Tanya Aguiñiga
About: Tanya was born in 1978 in Tijuana, Mexico. She received her BA in Applied Design from San Diego State University and her MFA in furniture design from the Rhode Island School of Design.
Work: Tanya’s work has been shown in galleries and museums across the world and Tanya was featured on the PBS series Craft in America. Her work combines art, craft and traditional techniques with activism and social justice. Felting and fiber work play a big role in her process, as do traditional crafting and artistic techniques from various cultures across the globe.
More: You can read more about Tanya here, here, here and here and follow her on Instagram here, Twitter here and Facebook here.

All artwork and images (c) Tanya Aguiñiga

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  • Was so excited to see her on PBS, what an amazing and engaged artist. Her work is so compelling, materially and socially, and I can’t even imagine how awesome she must be. Yay!!!

  • I had the pleasure of visiting her studio for her yearly sample sale this year. When I complimented her work, she insisted on using the term “we” instead of “I” when referring to her work because she makes sure to give credit to everyone involved in the creation process of her vision. Such a cool woman making a real difference and making equally relevant art ♥♥♥