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Edmari Hernandez’s original place of birth is Arecibo, Puerto Rico, but she has spent most of her life in Jacksonville, Florida. She was born into an Army family, which allowed her to travel to various places such as Germany, Italy, Alaska, North Carolina, Texas, and Florida. Learning to live in a bilingual home and in a trilingual culture, she discovered at a young age that drawings were a universal visual representation of subjects that could be understood across languages and culture. Hernandez earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of North Florida in 2014 concentrating on Painting, Drawing, and Printmaking, with a minor in Art History. She then completed her Master of Fine Arts degree at the University of South Carolina in Studio Art in 2018.

Now living in Florida, Hernandez continues her art work practice as it explores a personal connection with the ocean and researching the changes occurring within the aquatic environment as it stretches from her home island to her home state. From witnessing environmental degradation caused by humans and climate change firsthand, she wishes to raise awareness of the importance of aquatic ecosystem as it relates to human life from coral reefs, tropical fish, and weather influenced by these warming conditions. As she has experienced throughout her life, Hernandez always finds herself returning to the sea. The ocean is a part of her home.

Artist Statement

My work conveys the aesthetics and the vitality of the ocean environment when submersed underwater. There are obscure depths of the seascapes stretching into the distance, while certain features closer to the foreground are emphasized with fluid clarity. Even within desolate seascapes, corals, aquatic plants, and fish endure throughout the pictured environment as a reference to sea-life survival in endangered habitats. There is a combination of various surfaces such as Yupo paper, wood panel, and canvas that allow for the paintings to build up layers whether through the paint media or pasting paper.

Throughout my life, I have had various experiences and influential events such as discovering local coral reefs, almost drowning in a rip current, dreaming of the sea, and local snorkeling trips. I have seen firsthand the environmental degradation humans have caused to the oceans and I aspire to raise awareness on the ever-changing condition of our aquatic ecosystem.