Agnes Chavez

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Agnes Chavez
New York, New York
NationalityUnited States
EducationCalifornia College of the Arts
Known forSTEM education, multilingual education, installation art
Notable work

Agnes Chavez is an American artist, educator and entrepreneur.


Chavez was born and raised in New York.[1][2] Her parents were both from Cuba.[1]

In 1980, Chavez received an associate degree in Art from Miami Dade Community College. She went on to get her Bachelor of Fine Arts from California College of Arts and Crafts in 1984.[3] After this, she went to the Holographic Laboratories in New York to study Holography.[3] In 1986, Chavez moved to Taos, New Mexico where she founded the art and education programs, and In 2014 she co-founded The Paseo Project with Matt Thomas which produces The PASEO, a night festival bringing projection, performance and installation art to the streets of Taos.[3]


Chavez showed Light Forms: Jungle Rhythms in March 1993 at the Millicent Rogers Museum in El Prado.[2] This piece combined technology and an appreciation for nature.[2] Chavez was an artist-in-residence at Highlands University in 1995.[3]

Chavez developed a new business in the mid 1990s.[4] When her son was two years old, Chavez wanted to teach him to speak Spanish.[5] She began to teach Spanish and at her son's preschool as a way to supplement income from her art.[4] The process of teaching at the preschool gave Chavez an idea for a possible business.[4] Chavez created the SUBE kit, which is designed to help teachers inspire children to learn English and Spanish interactively.[6] SUBE allows teachers to use a multi-sensory approach to learning language and is divided into several different themes.[7] The name, SUBE is a play on the Spanish verb, subir, meaning "to go up."[6] Chavez created a business, Sube, Inc. out of the kit, which was noted to "fill an educational void."[6] Chavez is the founder of STEMArts, which brings science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) projects to young people in schools and at workshops.[8] STEMArts is part of Sube, inc.[9]

In 2009, Chavez began to work with data visualization combined with projection art and created the installation piece, (x)Trees which was later shown at ISEA 2012.[1] (x)Trees was a highlighted work at ISEA 2012.[10] Chavez also served as Education Program Director for ISEA2012: Machine Wilderness Education Day. (x)Trees uses live data which is taken from the internet and projects this information as tree-like images which grow and change.[1] The work was a collaboration between herself and computer programmers who developed the algorithms for the trees.[3] Her team for (x)trees at ISEA 2012 was made up of herself, Jared Tarbell and Allesandro Saccoia.[11] The data used to create the trees was taken from particular search words used in tweets from Twitter and text messages.[12] Twilio was used to generate trees from SMS text messages so that anyone viewing x(Trees) could shape and interact with the art.[13] Chavez's intent with using social media and text to generate the virtual trees is to show how individuals are digitally connected to one another.[14] (x)Trees can also be installed almost anywhere, including outdoors.[11]

Chavez does a large amount of research for her artwork. While working on the interactive installation, Projecting pARTicles, she collaborated with Dr. Steven Goldfarb, ATLAS Experiment at CERN to immerse herself in particle physics.[1] She continued with a research stay in 2015, presenting outcomes at the CERN library.[15]

In 2015, Chavez showed her physics inspired work, Origination Point and the Projecting Particles youth workshop at the Bienal de la Habana (Havana Biennial) in Cuba.[16] She was invited by a curator from the 12th Havana Biennial who saw (x)Trees at ISEA 2012.[1] Origination Point is a multimedia installation created in collaboration with Marcel Schwittlick (visual artist/coder) and Robert Schirmer (interactive sound). The installation uses sounds and vibrations of the Earth as recorded by NASA along with visuals of objects that look like particles and cells.[1] Projecting Particles allowed young people to create "physics-inspired projection art" that was collaborative and took place on the streets of Havana.[17] Projecting Particles was made possible by a team of four, including Chavez as the creative lead. The others in the group were Markus Dorninger, a projection painter, Malu Tavares, a documentary filmmaker and Dr. Luis Flores Castillo, physicist at CERN"[17]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Dovalpage, Teresa (19 May 2015). "From Taos to Havana". The Taos News. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
  2. ^ a b c Mentzinger, Bob (18 March 1993). "Chavez Mixes Nature, Technology in MRM Show". The Taos News.
  3. ^ a b c d e "(x)Trees | About the artist". Retrieved 28 May 2015.
  4. ^ a b c "Sube, Inc". WESST. Archived from the original on 2015-05-29. Retrieved 29 May 2015.
  5. ^ Taos Chamber of Commerce (11 January 2011). Artist Anges Chavez Creates Social Media. 2:30 minutes in.
  6. ^ a b c Propp, Wren (9 November 2004). "El Prado, N.M. Educator Creates Kits to Help Teach Spanish,English". Albuquerque Journal. Retrieved 28 May 2015. (Subscription required (help)).
  7. ^ Wittmann, Teresa; Mandell, Phyllis Levy (February 2005). "SUBE ESL Kit, Level K". School Library Journal. 51 (2): 79. ISSN 0362-8930. Retrieved 28 May 2015. (Subscription required (help)).
  8. ^ Pugh, Nikki Lyn (25 September 2014). "'The Paseo' Offers Spectuacular Opening to 40th Taos Fall Arts". The Taos News. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
  9. ^ "STEMArts | Home". STEMArts. Sube, Inc. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
  10. ^ "Exhibition/Performances". ISEA 2012. 2012. Archived from the original on 2015-05-29. Retrieved 29 May 2015.
  11. ^ a b Brickley, Kim (17 May 2012). "The Developing Medium of Interactive Technology". Title Magazine. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
  12. ^ Salem, Nancy (July 2012). "Albuquerque in the Global Spotlight" (PDF). Art Ltd. Magazine: 22–23. Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 September 2015. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
  13. ^ Kelly-Yahner, Kyle (19 November 2012). "Art, Data and Building Trees from Texts: Tracing The Roots of (x)Tree". Twilio Blog. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
  14. ^ Taos Chamber of Commerce (11 January 2011). Artist Agnes Chavez Creates Social Media (Video). 4:30 minutes in.
  15. ^ "Agnes Chavez @ CERN (17 March 2015)". CERN Events. Indico. March 2015. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
  16. ^ Auguilar, Juliane (27 May 2015). "That's a wrap!". Agnes Chavez Studio. Archived from the original on 2015-05-30. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
  17. ^ a b Chavez, Agnes (March 2015). "Projecting Particles 2015" (PDF). Indico. Retrieved 28 May 2015.

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