Ana Fernandez paints about everyday life and the experiences of her neighbors in San Antonio. She is well known for her oil paintings of modest homes and neighborhood businesses. In 2018 Artpace funded her cover art watercolor titled “Kwik Mart.” Many of the homes she paints are known to include older cars and sleeping dogs.
In addition to her prestigious Artspace Artist in Residence award, Fernandez was a 2017 recipient of the Joan Mitchell Foundation Painter & Sculptors grant, a recognition that comes with a $25,000 cash prize.
A native of San Antonio, Fernandez first learned painting from her mother Rosa Fernandez who introduced her to oil painting when she was five years old. Fernandez enjoyed her high school drawing classes, but it wasn’t until she enrolled at San Antonio College that she began to explore the parameters of art seriously. At this time, she was inspired by the representation art of Cesar Martinez and Jesse Trevino. Like Martinez and Trevino, she creates art that demonstrates visual references to the real world.
In 1992 she enrolled at the prestigious Art Institute of Chicago. It was there that she expanded her interest in American and European art.
Fernandez excelled in her art studies in Chicago and earned a Bachelor’s degree. Because of her outstanding academic record, she earned admittance to UCLA ’s highly selective Masters in Fine Arts program.
In 2009 Fernandez moved back to San Antonio with a goal of painting full time. Art sales were sporadic, so she created her own artistic culinary dishes as a way to pay the rent. Shortly after I met her in 2011, she had started developing an interest in dishes featuring Southwest chili.
When the San Antonio Public Library (SAPL) asked us last year to donate one of her paintings, we were honored and offered a beautiful piece titled “Flight.” The Fernandez “Flight” painting is now hanging in a special reading room next to the Latino Collection at the Central Library downtown.
Ana Fernandez continues to make great art and her reputation as a gifted Texas artist has spread beyond San Antonio. In the May 2018 issue of Texas Monthly, the editors chose Ana Fernandez and Cruz Ortiz to represent the cultural arts on its special issue devoted to San Antonio’s Tricentennial