North Texas Daily

University artist uses talents to uplift women

University artist uses talents to uplift women

University artist uses talents to uplift women
July 29
13:00 2023

Studio art and art history senior Carina Hernandez is a local multimedia artist whose work centers around the complex experiences of womanhood.

“I make art about my identity for other people to identify with,” Hernandez said. “I’ve been in so many conversations with other girls about shared traumas that we have faced as women in this world, that my art has really become my way to resonate with these other women who may have gone through something similar or see something in my art that they connect to.”

Hernandez enjoys experimenting with different mediums of art such as welding, woodworking and inking. As an art student, she employs various materials, styles, color palettes and subjects in her work, and does not attempt to limit herself to one specific style of expression.

“It’s clear that art is a language that truly speaks to Carina, as seen by her immense care and enthusiasm,” said Lauren Reird, Hernandez’s friend and literature and history senior. “Witnessing her growth this summer certainly feeds into my perception of Carina’s ever-growing appreciation of art as well as her blossoming skill as an artist.”

Hernandez’s mother was an art enthusiast herself, and always taught her children about the value of creative expression. It was not until high school that Hernandez began to take art more seriously. She started frequently creating spontaneous art to express her emotions, without throughly planning what she was going to make.

Now as a college student, Hernandez said she is able to recognize the pattern behind what she creates and makes pieces that are well-thought out and have clear messages behind them. She hopes her art will create a sense of community with her viewers and allow those who relate to her work to feel seen and heard.

“When I make my art I really am trying to also just open up these conversations that may be uncomfortable to have in a formal way,” Hernandez said. “By making things that confront these issues, I hope that my pieces allow others to be able to talk about them, break the stigma, and make some real change.”    

Hernandez said nearly everything she creates is born in her thoughts about societal issues, particularly the way women have been mistreated in history and in the present day. This perspective serves as the connective tissue for her body of work.

“Carina is just so passionate about what she does,” said Katelyn Johnson, Hernandez’s friend and childhood education senior. “She pulls her inspiration from women both in her life as well as from the media and the past. It is great to be apart of her journey as an artist.”

One collection of her work, titled “Eve series,” includes a small garbage can made out of foil, along with crumbled collaged paper with harrowing statistics. One states that, “There has never been a female U.S. President. It would take 108 years to close the gender gap.” Another notable piece in the series is a painted apple with the phrase “Eve was framed.”

“I think every woman has this shared experience of having to navigate the patriarchy since birth and kind of facing our own challenges within that, that so many of us can relate to,” Hernandez said. “Whether that’s gender related power dynamics, sexual assault, or societal beauty or behavior expectations, being a woman will always be challenging. These are the kind of things that inspire me to make art today.”

Hernandez considers her art to not only communicate the complex and systemic issues faced by women, but to also take a more literal approach to womanhood. She often depicts naked female bodies in her work, in both abstract and traditional styles. This is a way for Hernandez to explore the topic about how women’s bodies are scrutinized and objectified by society from a young age.

“My upbringing in a feminine environment of my mom and my sister along with my own personal experience with sexual assault has shaped the way I make my art and perceive the world around me,” Hernandez said. “I employ the feminine figure in my works often to redefine the use of this motif through a feminist lens.”

Aside from her artistic studies, Hernandez’s double major in Art History is also apparent in her portfolio. She uses female artists of historical movements, particularly Surrealism, as inspiration for work. In a recent piece, she recreated the painting “Portrait of Leo” by Raphael, which she visited this summer during a trip to Italy. Her iteration of the Renaissance piece, titled ‘Legacy,” featured herself along with her mother and sister.

“When you study something famously filled with old white men it can be really discouraging as a woman practicing art today,” Hernandez said. “But the art history professors at UNT do a great job at reiterating the challenges that women have faced historically that has led to this drought of information on them, and have even gone out of their way to consistently include prominent women artists throughout history.”

Hernandez’s advice to artists trying to develop a specific “style” is to not worry too much about it, and instead identify the string that ties their pieces together. Looking inward instead of outward, she says, is the best way to find one’s artistic purpose. To follow Hernandez’s artistic journey, visit her instagram @carsartsy and her website,

“No matter what you try to do, your experiences and your life will influence every decision you make and mark you make,” Hernandez said. “Once you know that, you can really lean into it and create a unified collection of work.”

Featured Image: Carina Hernandez poses with her art pieces in one of the College of Visual Arts and Design studios on July 19, 2023. Makayla Brown

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Celie Price

Celie Price

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