Vanesa Zendejas is an artist and has been an arts administrator for fourteen years. Her artistic and programmatic concerns include unraveling the inherited norms of art and art history, understanding the role of identity in art practices today, and how very basic communal modes of art making can create empathy between individuals. Vanesa’s personal art practice is centered in sculpture and experiments with abstraction, while questioning the changing role that abstraction plays in contemporary art. She holds a BFA in Painting from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and an MFA in sculpture from Bard College, Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts. Zendejas has previously worked at commercial galleries, artist studios, and with Ox-Bow School of Art and Artists’ Residency. She is currently Executive Director of High Desert Test Sites, the Joshua Tree (California) arts nonprofit cofounded by artist Andrea Zittel. Based at A-Z West, Zittel’s lifelong project, Zendejas’s work with High Desert Test Sites has included co-teaching college-level classes with Zittel, managing artist residencies, developing public arts programming, donor cultivation, and fundraising strategies. Originally from Chicago, Zendejas moved to Los Angeles in 2010, settling in the Joshua Tree region in 2015.