Cecilia Alvarez

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Cecilia Concepción Alvarez
Born (1950-04-15) April 15, 1950 (age 68)
San Diego, California
Nationality American
Known for Chicana Art
Notable work
  • Las Cuatas Diego, 1979* La Tierra Santa, 1983* Si Te Puede Pasar a Ti, 1992
Style Her oil paintings and murals depict themes of feminism, poverty, and environmental degradation in the United States and Latin America.
Website www.ceciliaalvarez.com

Cecilia Alvarez (born April 15, 1950) is an American Chicana artist known for her oil paintings and murals depicting themes of feminism, poverty, and environmental degradation in the United States and Latin America. Alvarez's painting Las Cuatas Diego has been featured in books and exhibitions around the world.[1] Alvarez has also illustrated the bilingual children's book Antonio's Card authored by Rigoberto González.[2] Her work is collected by the Mexican Fine Arts Museum, the Seattle Art Museum and by the Kaiser Foundation.[3]


Alvarez was born in San Diego, California to a Cuban father and a Mexican mother.[4] She was raised by both of her parents in San Diego, California and Tijuana, Mexico.[5]

Alvarez is a self-taught artist.[4] Alvarez started studying at San Diego State University, however, she did not complete her education because she felt that it wasn't necessary. She had been told by faculty that because she was a Mexican-American woman, her work would never be considered "fine art."[5] Alvarez began to help her family financially at the age of twenty-three, after leaving college.[6]

In 1975 Alvarez moved to Washington state where she has created the majority of her artwork.

From 1978 to 1981, she attended Eastern Washington University.[3]

She currently resides and works in Seattle, Washington.


Alvarez is primarily a painter, but she has worked on large public artwork and on helping youth to create murals to raise cultural awareness.[7] Alvarez uses personal imagery in her art in order to critique issues that are politically and culturally important to her.[5] She has stated that she hopes to "create discourse through her art, on issues of entitlement, poverty and who is expendable in our collective."[7] Alvarez attempts to redefine the cultural values assigned to women and the concept of family using her art.[6] Her duality as a woman and Chicana define her art as she states, "how we fit into the universe, telling jokes, music, laying tile, whatever it was that evolved that whole ability to think of our humanity."[8] In 1991, Alvarez gifted a color print of her painting "Las Cuatas Diego" to The Mexican Museum's permanent collection located in San Francisco.[9]

Notable works[edit]

  • Las Cuatas Diego, 1979
  • La Tierra Santa, 1983
  • Si Te Puede Pasar a Ti, 1992


  1. ^ "Winter/Spring 2001: So to Speak". Archived from the original on March 13, 2005. 
  2. ^ González, Rigoberto (2005). Antonio's Card / La Tarjeta de Antonio. illustrated by Cecilia Alvarez. CBP. ISBN 978-0-89239-204-9. 
  3. ^ a b "Cecilia Alvarez | Complete Resume". Evergreen State College Library. 2004. Retrieved March 23, 2015. 
  4. ^ a b Alvarez, Cecilia (2008). "Cecilia Alvarez: Biography". Cecilia Alvarez. Retrieved March 18, 2015. 
  5. ^ a b c Freese, Lauren M. (2013). "Frida Kahlo and Chicana Self-Portraiture: Maya Gonzalez, Yreina D. Cervantez, and Cecilia Alvarez". Iowa Research Online. University of Iowa. Retrieved March 18, 2015. 
  6. ^ a b Ruiz, Vicki L., ed. (2007). Latinas in the United States: A Historical Encyclopedia. Indiana University Press. pp. 42–43. ISBN 978-0-253-11169-2. Retrieved March 6, 2016. 
  7. ^ a b "Chicana Artist : Cecilia Alvarez". www.ceciliaalvarez.com. Retrieved 2017-03-31. 
  8. ^ "Latina/o Art: Gender in Art". www.umich.edu. Retrieved March 5, 2016. 
  9. ^ Puga, Kristina (May 22, 2012). ""Faces" tell a story at The Mexican Museum". NBC Latino. Retrieved March 5, 2016. 

External links[edit]