Skip to Content


Carmen Lomas Garza

Carmen Lomas Garza was born in Texas. At the age of thirteen she made a commitment to pursue a career in art. Her narrative works of art depict childhood memories of family and friends engaged in a wide range of activities seen in Mexican American communities.

Ms. Garza has a Bachelor of Science from Texas A & I University (currently Texas A&M University, Kingsville) where she studied art education and studio art. She also has a Master of Education from Antioch Graduate School - Juarez/Lincoln Center and a Master of Art from San Francisco State University where she concentrated on painting and printmaking.

Ms. Garza has had several major one-person exhibitions in the United States including the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden/Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City, the Smith College Museum in Northampton, Massachusetts, and The Mexican Museum in San Francisco. In 1991 she had a one-person exhibition titled A Piece of My Heart/ Pedacito de mi Corazón at Laguna Gloria Art Museum in Austin, Texas that traveled to museums in El Paso, Texas, Chicago, Illinois, and Oakland, California. The San Jose Museum of Art organized a retrospective exhibition in 2001 that traveled to the San Antonio Museum of Art where is opened to record-breaking attendance. Ms. Garza’s artwork was the subject of an interactive exhibition for children organized by the Austin Children’s Museum in 2003 in Austin, Texas. The exhibition will travel for 5 years in the USA.

Three major traveling group exhibitions featured Ms. Garza’s artwork: Hispanic Art in the United States/ Thirty Contemporary Painters and Sculptors at The Museum of Fine Arts in Houston; C.A.R.A. Chicano Art/ Resistance and Affirmation, at the Wight Art Gallery, UCLA in Los Angeles, and Art of the Other Mexico, at the Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum in Chicago, Illinois.

In 1984 the San Francisco Water Department commissioned eight paintings titled The History of the Use of Northern California Water. The San Francisco International Airport commissioned a copper cutout sculpture, 16 x 24 feet titled Baile in the year 2000.

Ms. Garza was a recipient of two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, and one from the California Arts Council. In the summer of 1996 she was selected by the National Endowment for the Arts for a special International Artist- In-Residence grant from the Mexican arts agency, FONCA, Fondo Nacional para Cultura y las Artes to reside in Mexico for two months. In 2004 she received an Artist-in-Residence grant from The Rockefeller Foundation Study and Conference Center, in Bellagio, Italy.

Children’s Book Press of San Francisco published a bilingual book of Ms. Garza’s paintings and short stories in 1990 titled Family Pictures/Cuadros de familía. Over 400,000 copies have sold. Since 1996 Children’s Book Press has published three more award-winning books.

Ms. Garza lives in San Francisco, California.

Return to all Honorees