Artist Rafa Esparza from L.A. awarded with PAMM’s Pérez Prize

The Pérez Art Museum Miami in Florida has given its 2022 Pérez Prize to Los Angeles–based artist Rafa Esparza. The award, which honors artistic achievement, comes with a $50,000 unrestricted cash grant and was presented to the artist over the weekend at the museum’s annual Art of the Party gala.

Esparza is among the most closely watched artists working in the U.S. today, and is best known for both his large-scale installations made of adobe, a skill learned from his father Ramón. His work explores themes around memory, family, community, and various histories, and also includes collaborative elements. He frequently invites artists, primarily Brown and queer ones, to show their work alongside his. Among those to have done so are Beatriz Cortez, Eamon Ore-Giron, and Gala Porras-Kim.

In an email, PAMM Director Franklin Sirmans said, “PAMM is delighted to honor Rafa Esparza as the recipient of the fourth annual Pérez Prize, an artist whose foundation is grounded in the same values as our institution, whose insightful art practice connects personal narrative with historical explorations of art and society.”

The Pérez Prize was first awarded in 2019 to Christina Quarles. Daniel Lind-Ramos and María Magdalena Campos-Pons were the second and third winners of the award, respectively.

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