Ernesto Hernandez-Olmos was born November 6, 1971 in Oaxaca, Mexico and was first inspired by the arts at the age of five. Formally educated in plastic arts at the highly respected Autonomous University, Benito Juarez of Oaxaca, Mexico, he has been a practicing artist for twenty-five years. In Mexico he was selected as a young artist to display his work at the National Autonomous University of Mexico City, the Delegación Benito Juarez in Mexico City, and the Oaxacan Institute of Culture.
An internationally exhibited artist, his work has been shown in the US at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the De Young Museum, the Legion of Honor and the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, the Oakland Museum and in Canada at the Olympic Stadium in Montreal.
Ernesto is a multi-faceted artist who works in many media, including painting, sculpture, music and dance. He contemporizes the traditional music forms from Oaxaca in addition to creating his own compositions and makes instruments based on Meso-American design including flutes, drums and whistles fashioned from wood, clay, gourds and bone. His music/dance group, Besh Beni (Jaguar of Light) creates Toltec, Zapotec and Mistec inspired performances for schools, cultural events and traditional gatherings throughout California and internationally. Ernesto is a stimulating and interactive teacher; he educates youth and adults about native cultures as they create enjoyable art with a cultural message. He is an inspired painter and has created hundreds of paintings in oil, acrylic, pastels – virtually any media that he can find he enjoys exploring. He has created three murals in Oakland, including one at the MacArthur Bart Station specially commissioned by the City of Oakland. He has been based in the Bay Area since 1997.
I am an artist because it makes me feel good when I am able to bring my ideas from the spiritual to the physical world. The spirits of my people inspire me to share my deepest and most human feelings through my artistic designs. I see myself as an innovative instrument to ensure that the culture and values of my ancestors are expressed in today’s life, through my creations - art, music and dance.
Declaración de Artista
Yo soy artista por que me hace sentir bien, cuando yo traigo mis ideas del mundo espiritual al mundo físico. Los espíritus de mis gentes me espiran para convidar mis más profundos sentimientos humanos, a través de mis creaciones artísticas. Yo me veo como un instrumento que a segura, la cultura y los valores de los ancestros, que son expresiones que llevo acabo en la vida, a través de mi trabajo – el arte, la música y la danza.