Margarita Cabrera was born in Monterrey, Mexico and moved to El Paso, TX at the age of 10. Cabrera received an MFA from Hunter College in New York, NY. Cabrera’s work centers around socio-political community issues including cultural identity, migration, violence, inclusivity, labor, and empowerment. She has received critical attention for her collaborative sculpture series Space in Between, which consists of cacti sculptures constructed from green border patrol uniforms. The sculptures are produced through community workshops, where participants embroider the cactus leaves with images that represent their stories. This collaborative process references the rich traditions of indigenous Mexican textiles, and especially pays homage to the collective labor of women. In May 2019, Cabrera unveiled the monumental, participatory public sculpture Árbol de la Vida: Voces de la Tierra, in San Antonio.
Cabrera has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions at institutions across the United States, including the Dallas Contemporary, El Museo del Barrio (New York), the Ford Foundation Gallery (New York), the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the McNay Museum (San Antonio), the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, the Ogden Museum of Southern Art (New Orleans), the Seattle Art Museum, SITE Santa Fe, the Smithsonian Museum of American Art, the Sun Valley Center for the Arts, and the Sweeney Art Center for Contemporary Art at the University of California, Riverside. In 2012, she was a Knight Artist in Residence at the McColl Center for Visual Art in Charlotte, North Carolina. Cabrera was also the recipient of a Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant.