Amalia Mesa-Bains is an educator, artist and cultural critic. Her works, primarily interpretations of traditional Chicano altars, resonate both in contemporary formal terms and in their ties to her Chicano community and history. As an author of scholarly articles and a nationally known lecturer on Chicano art, she has enhanced understanding of multi-culturalism and reflected major cultural and demographic shifts in the United States. Throughout her cross-disciplinary career, she has worked to define a Chicano and Latino aesthetic in the U.S. and in Latin America. She has pioneered the documentation and interpretation of long Chicano traditions in Mexican-American art, both through her cultural activism and through her own altar-installations. As an artist her works have been exhibited in both national and international venues and her publications include “Homegrown-Engaged Cultural Criticism, a collaboration with bell hooks reissued by Routledge Press 2017. She is a recipient of a distinguished MacArthur Fellowship. Currently, she is Professor Emerita at the Visual and Public Art Department at California State University at Monterey Bay.