Denise R. Duarte is a multidisciplinary artist, a socially-engaged artist, a graphic designer and an activist.
Her studio practice focuses on three areas: gender, LGBTQ+ and the environment. Currently, her work is exploring the historical societal influences on beliefs and behavior with regard to contemporary gender issues. The conceptual basis for her artwork is primary. The materials are selected that best articulate the chosen concept and advance further exploration of the issues through the artwork.
She received her Master of Fine Arts in Community Arts from Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) where she received the Jacob and Hilda Blaustein Foundation Scholarship and Fellowship and earned the College Teaching of Art Certificate.
Duarte has received two Las Vegas Mayor’s Urban Design Awards for Public Art. The first award was in 2008 as a design team member for the sculpture Ancestral Gateway and the second award was in 2011 for Flourish. She has completed eight public art projects and has facilitated numerous socially-engaged art projects. She is listed on the Nevada Arts Council’s Artist in Schools + Communities Roster, Education and Community Tracks as a teaching artist and was listed as an artist to watch on Creative Capital’s On Our Radar in 2015. Her work has been exhibited locally, regionally and internationally.
Denise wrote, in 2014, the awarded National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Our Town Grant for Clark County’s Maryland Parkway Public Art Urban Design Plan. In 2015, she served as a juror for the NEA Our Town Grant Panel, Arts Engagement, Cultural Planning, and Design Projects.
Denise’s previous activist leadership positions includes the Nevada Womenʼs Lobby and Stand OUT For Equality, the former advocacy arm of The Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Southern Nevada. She founded Equality Days in 2009, the first officially recognized day at the Nevada Legislature for the LGBTQ+ community and founded the Nevada LGBTQ+ Leadership Coalition in 2009. Denise’s 18 year corporate experience in the insurance and financial services field has fueled her quest for equality for all people.
Duarte has authored over 30 articles on art, feminist and LGBTQ+ issues in a variety of publications such as sculpture.org, Baltimore OUTloud, Gay Life and the Washington Blade. Duarte co-authored Women of Diversity Productions, Inc.’s inaugural Gaming Gender Equality Index, a report revealing the results of a survey of 21 casino and gaming corporations which was conducted to assess their policies, practices and commitment to gender equality and the follow-up 2018 Gaming Gender Equality Index.
Denise's lifelong passions include art, activism and the exploration of the social fabric of life.