Arlene Mejorado


Arlene Mejorado is an artist and photographer specializing in creative documentary work. Raised in Los Angeles, she is the daughter of migrants, a nepantera, and passionate observer. Mejorado works in both digital and print. Her books, zines, digital content platforms, photography, and video illustrate the layered experiences and voices within communities. Mejorado is critical and self-reflective of the process of documentation, as her projects often interweave themes of migration, diasporas, cultural hybridity, gender-queerness, race, and identity through a sensitive lens. Though her works is often created from real life material, it is also a process of creative expression and experimentation. Image by Destiny Mata.



2013     Latin American Studies/Communications, B.A., University of Texas at Austin
2013     Research Program: African Diaspora in Central America, University of Texas at Austin – Bluefields, Nicaragua
2009     Summer Program: Indigenous Social and Political Movements, University of California at Davis – Chiapas, Mexico

Solo Exhibitions

2016     Califas Lens, San Anto Heart: Outside Looking In, curated by Lady Base Gallery and R.L. Rodriguez, R Space, San Antonio, TX
2014     Fragments of Central America, curated by Salomón Huerta, Salomón Huerta Studio, Los Angeles, CA

Group Exhibitions

2017     Entre Orillas: Borderland Photography by Arlene Mejorado & Adriana Monsalve, Galeria Guadalupe, San Antonio, TX
2017     Mi Comida, Mi Cultura, curated by Sean Fitzgibbons, Centro de Artes, San Antonio, TX
2017     East of Center: Locals In Focus (public photography installation), Luminaria Arts Festival, San Antonio, TX
2016     SATX | MX: Un viaje lleno de cultura, Centro de Artes, San Antonio, TX
2016     Multiples: Artists Within Our Midst, curated by Mari Hernandez and Kristen Gamez, Guadalupe Cultural Arts, San Antonio, TX
2015     Soy Mujer, Espacio 1839, Boyle Heights, CA
2014     Illustrating Anarchy and Revolution, MexicArte Museum, Austin, TX
2013     LLILAS Student Photo Exhibit, Benson Latin American Collection, Austin, TX


Femme Frontera by Arlene Mejorado and Adriana Monsalve, Homie House Press, print. 2017
Optica Magazine, no. 1 & 2, (Editor), Mujeres en Medio, print. 2016-2017
La Pulga by Arlene Mejorado, Deep Red Press, print. 2017


Book Making Residency, Homie House Press, Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC. 2017

Artist Talks 

2017     Guest Speaker, Portraiture and Empowerment, The Lower Eastside Girls Club, New York, NY
2017     Panelist, How We Do It: Conversation with Women Photographers, The Main Museum, Los Angeles, CA
2016     Artist Conversation, Califas Lens, San Anto Heart: Outside Looking In - Solo Show, R Space Gallery, San Antonio, TX
2016     Panelist, Latin American Communication Research in Transitional Settings Conference, TAMIU, Laredo, TX
2014     Panelist, Eliminating Power Structures Through Women Storytelling Narratives, Illustrating Anarchy & Revolution 
               Conference, University of Texas at Austin, TX

Grants & Awards 

2017     National Association of Latina/o Arts (NALAC) & Culture Master Artist Grant under the mentorship of Adriana Monsalve
2016     Fotoseptiembre Choice Award: Califas Lens, San Anto Heart: Outside Looking In (Photography Solo Exhibition)
2016     Luminaria Public Arts Grant for the City of San Antonio.
2015     FilmInitiativ African Film Festival Official Selection: Nicaribbean Music Project Documentary
2013     Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory (HASTAC) Scholarship
2012     Lozano Long Institute of Latin America Studies Academic Scholarship


Department of Arts & Culture, City of San Antonio, TX
Benson Latin American Collection, University of Texas Libraries, Austin, TX


2016-2017    Videographer, Woman of the Water, Sonora, Mexico
2016-2017    Campaign Artist & Consultant, The AmplifierFoundation, Los Angeles, CA
>2016-2017  Founder & EditorÓptica Magazine, print
2013-2017    Co-Founder & Editor, Mujeres en Medio Multi-Media Journal, Online
2015               Digital Photography Curator, SanAnto Cultural Arts, San Antonio, TX
2014               Administrative Assistant, Self Help Graphics & Art, Boyle Heights,CA
2014               Archival Graphics Intern, Museo de la Palabra Y La Imagen, 2013,  San Salvador, El Salvador 
2012-2013    Digital Archive Intern, Human Rights Documentation Initiative, Benson Collection, Austin, TX
2012               Graphics Intern, with Master Printmaker Mario Guzmán, Espacio Zapata, Oaxaca City, Mexico
2007-2011    Communications Coordinator & Cultural Programmer, Tia Chucha's Centro Cultural, Sylmar, CA

Selected Press 

The Current, "Chicana Feelings' and 'Entre Orillas' Show How Visibility Can Be a Way of Healing" by Alejandra L. Gonzalez, Dec. 2017
LA Weekly, "Photographer Arlene Mejorado Gives the Camera the Angeleno Aesthetic" by Trina Calderon, Sept. 2017
LA Weekly, "How L.A.'s Latinas Are Telling Their Own Stories Through Photography" by Eva Recinos, Sept. 2017
For Creative Girls, “Arlene Mejorado on Photography, Documentary, and Creating Meaningful Work”, Feb. 2017
Obey Magazine, “Behind "Defend Dignity" Q+A with Arlene Mejorado and Maribel Hermosillo” by Illana Woods, Feb. 2017
San Antonio Express-News, "Shepard Fairey Poster Based on Work by San Antonio Photographer", by Elda Silva, Jan. 2017
Remezcla, “These Powerful Portraits Find Beauty in the Vaqueros & Vendedoras of San Antonio”, by Andrew Vargas, Dec. 2016
Houston Chronicle, ""Arlene Mejorado's Pulga Series", by Madalyn Mendoza, Dec. 2016
Deep Red Press, "La Pulga y la calle: Arlene Mejorado", by Raul Rodriguez, Nov. 2016
San Antonio Express-News, "Photographer Finds Her Art at the Flea Market”, by Elda Silva, Aug. 2016
Praxis Center, Kalamazoo College, "Monthly Artist Feature: Arlene Mejorado", 2015

Using Format