Nadia Liz Estela


Born in 1983 in the Dominican Republic, I immigrated to Newark, New Jersey at the age of eight. My mother worked in the Newark garment factories; my father worked as an elevator mechanic. I was raised in the “in-between” of migration alongside my three sisters. My work often references the different layers of migration: looking at the invisible. The aspects of life and society, its norms, morals and indoctrinated labels that we know exist but do not acknowledge. 

The work examines layers within migration and memory that construct identity. 

It asks about the journeys we have made collectively and individually; how we navigate our social and cultural capital; how have we arrived here; what are the implications of our biases; how do we profit from those imbalances; and how do all these strata make a whole or keep it separate. I look for a language where these contradictions visually exist in the same plane. 

Nadia completed her undergraduate education at Rutgers University-Newark and at Parsons, The New School. In 2018, she received her MFA from Montclair State University. Nadia is a museum educator at the Montclair Art Museum and has taught at Montclair State University for the Department of Art and Design. Her work has been exhibited in the Montclair Art Museum, Luo Zhongli Art Museum, Torpedo Art Center, Agora Gallery, and American Medium in Chelsea, New York. She is a contributor to Maternal Journal and is an alumnus of the Vermont Studio Center Artist Residency and Millay Artist Colony.


Selected Works