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IglesiasJanelle Iglesias

Assistant Professor

Department of Visual Arts

Janelle Iglesias has an MFA in Sculpture and Extended Media from the Virginia Commonwealth University and bachelor’s degree in Cultural Anthropology from Emory University.

Iglesias is an artist working with and through objects, materials and their physical language in space. Ranging from simple displays to complex constellations, her work often explores the relationship between humans, capitalism and the natural environment.

In addition to her individual practice, Iglesias maintains a project-based collaboration with her sister, as Las Hermanas Iglesias, which incorporates a variety of relationships and structures for collectivity. Her individual and collaborative work has been shown widely, including at the Queens Museum, Sculpture Center, Smack Mellon, Socrates Sculpture Park, Abrons Art Center, El Museo del Barrio, The Utah Museum of Fine Art’s ACME Lab, and The University of Colorado Art Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego.

Iglesias has been a fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center and in residence at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, the Smack Mellon Studio Program, Headlands Center for Art, Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, LMCC’s Workspace Program in NYC and Paris Program at the Cité Internationale des Arts, among others.

Her work has been supported by the Joan Mitchell Foundation, the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, and the Jerome Foundation, through which she traveled to the rainforests of West Papua in search of the displays of birds of paradise and the constructions of Bowerbirds.


What excites you most about coming to UC San Diego?

I’m thrilled to join a program with such a rich experimental history that values interdisciplinary and collaborative work. As my own solo and collaborative practice extends across mediums and genres, I’m excited to teach a broad spectrum of classes within the studio area and work with graduate students in a non-media specific MFA program. It’s an honor to be a part of this ex-pansive community of artists.

Why did you choose your field of study?

I gravitated toward the extended field of sculpture as it holds space for all kinds of research methodologies including embodied practices — which in my case involves working with and through space and materials. I value this practice as a different way of knowing and being in the world.

What advice do you have for students who choose to major in arts and humanities?

My own path was not a straight line. As an undergraduate I studied cultural anthropology and found my way towards sculpture only as I was graduating. Remember that there is no singular route to where you may want to go and that some of what might seem like ‘detours’ will give you the most valuable lenses to understand and contribute to the world.

Be true to what makes you feel curious and alive. Go beyond what you are you interested in, what are you invested in?

How do you view your role relative to the greater regional community?

I’m excited to contribute to the local, regional and transnational arts community here in South-ern California and in Tijuana. I see so much potential and enthusiasm in the close-knit art community of San Diego for new projects and artist-run initiatives to support and participate in.

Tell us something about yourself that is not normally mentioned in your bio.

I’ve sat completely still in a mosquito filled bird hide for two days to see a Western Parotia per-form their ‘ballerina’ dance for 15 seconds. It was completely worth it.