Juan Sanchez, Para Angel de Vieques, 2006
Para Angel de Vieques, 2006, oil, mixed media collage on wood panel, 74 x 72 inches. Courtesy of the artist.

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA – The Artists’ Legacy Foundation today announced that Juan Sánchez (b. 1954)—the influential Nuyorican artist who explores ethnic, racial, and national identity in his multimedia work—is the recipient of its 2022 Artist Award. The $25,000 award is given to a visual artist whose primary medium is painting or sculpture in recognition of their professional achievements. Each year, ten artists are proposed for the Award by five anonymous nominators. Like the nominators, the jury of three comprises art-world peers who make the final decision.

Squeak Carnwath, the Foundation’s board president, said, “We are delighted to recognize the inimitable Juan Sánchez and his dynamic, politically engaged practice. His expansive body of work resonates today just as emphatically and passionately as when he began in the 1980s. His artistic investigations of his Brooklyn and Puerto Rican roots and reflections on the current moment are at once deeply personal and profoundly universal. We are grateful to our esteemed nominators and jurors and appreciate their service, expertise, and generous spirits.”

This year’s jurors were Derek Fordjour, interdisciplinary artist; Miguel Luciano, multimedia artist; and Monica Ramirez-Montagut, Director of the Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill, NY. Fordjour said, “While this year’s selection pool was highly competitive, Juan Sánchez emerged as the absolute winner. For decades, he continues to produce deeply personal artwork that centers marginalized communities and has bolstered his studio practice with a stellar career as an educator and mentor to countless artists.”

Luciano said, “Juan Sánchez has achieved a legacy that’s inspired generations of artists through the sublime beauty of his paintings and prints, and his unwavering commitment to social justice and political liberation. He is an icon among Puerto Rican artists in the diaspora and one of the most important artists of our time.”

Ramirez-Montagut said, “It is a true privilege to be able to honor the legacy of Juan Sánchez and recognize his commitment and dedication to his practice, the arts, and our communities.  I hope this award conveys our admiration and appreciation for the integrity of his work as well as its excellence.”

The artist’s latest solo exhibition is on view at Hutchinson Modern and Contemporary gallery in New York City through November 4, providing a timely opportunity to experience his work.

Sánchez said, “It is so wonderful to realize that there are individuals out there who recognize, value, and name your work. I am deeply thankful, gratified, and humble to receive the 2022 Artists’ Legacy Foundation Artist Award. This is a critical acknowledgement that is deeply encouraging.”

The Foundation will host a virtual public program via Zoom on Thursday, October 20, 2022, at 4 pm PT / 7 pm ET, featuring a conversation between the artist and Jessamine Batario, art historian and Linde Family Foundation Curator of Academic Engagement at the Colby College Museum of Art.


Nuyorican artist Juan Sánchez’s multimedia practice explores issues of race, class, cultural identity, equality, and self-determination. Maintaining an activist stance for over 45 years, he establishes his art as an arena of creative and political inquiry and reflection that encompasses the individual, family, the communities with which he engages, and the world at large. While Sánchez first gained recognition for his multi-layered mixed media collage paintings addressing issues of Puerto Rican identity and the struggle against colonialism, his recent work embraces photography, printmaking, and video installation.

Sánchez has exhibited and lectured throughout the United States, Europe, and Latin America. His art is in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Museum of Modern Art, and El Museo del Barrio, among many others.

Sánchez is a recipient of the Latinx Artist Fellowship, the CUAA Augustus Saint–Gaudens Achievement in the Visual Art Award, the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the Joan Mitchell Foundation, New York Foundation for the Arts, the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.