Faculty

Rosten Woo

Rosten Woo is an artist, designer, and writer living in Los Angeles. His projects aim to help people understand complex systems, re-orient themselves to places, and participate in group decision-making. He acts as a collaborator and consultant to a variety of grassroots organizations including Little Tokyo Service Center, the Black Workers Center, Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy, and Esperanza Community Housing Corporation, as well as the LA Philharmonic, the city of Los Angeles, and the California State Parks. His work has been exhibited at the Cooper-Hewitt Design Triennial, the Venice Architecture Biennale, and various piers, public housing developments, shopping malls, and parks. He is co-founder and former executive director of the Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP), winner of the 2016 National Design Award for institutional achievement. His book “Street Value” about race and retail urban development was published by Princeton Architectural Press in 2009.

rostenwoo.biz

Patricia Vázquez Gómez

Patricia Vázquez Gómez works and lives between the ancient Tenochtitlán and the unceded, occupied, stolen and colonized lands of the Chinook, Clackamas, Multnomah and other Indigenous peoples. Her art practice investigates the social functions of art, the intersections between aesthetics, ethics and politics and the expansion of community based art practices. She uses a variety of media to carry out her research: painting, printmaking, video, exhibitions, music and socially engaged art projects. The purpose and methodologies of her work are deeply informed by her experiences working in the immigrant rights and other social justice movements in the US and Mexico. Patricia’s work can be explored at http://cargocollective.com/patriciavg

Lucy Cotter

Lucy teaches Art Theory and Critical Theory at postgraduate level. A trained artist with a PhD in Cultural Analysis, she is passionate about art’s potential for expanding intellectual enquiry and rethinking social, political and institutional imaginaries and structures. She has taught visual artists, designers, architects and composers at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy, the Sandberg Institute and the University of the Arts in the Netherlands, as well as guest lecturing internationally. She was founding director of the MA Artistic Research at the Royal Academy of Art, The Hague, where she developed an experimental curriculum with an expansive public program.

Lucy is editor of a number of books, most recently Reclaiming Artistic Research (Hatje Cantz, 2019), which foregrounds the agency of artistic thinking. A regular contributor to catalogues and journals including Mousse, Flash Art, Frieze and Third Text, she is guest editor of Art&Education: Classroom in 2019. Among her curatorial projects, Lucy was curator of the Dutch pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale 2017, presenting Cinema Olanda, a project featuring a solo exhibition by artist Wendelien van Oldenborgh in Venice and a multi-authored exhibition and live program across several venues in the Netherlands, which examined the Dutch self-image in relation to rapid social and political transformations. Lucy’s latest projects experiment with the boundaries of the artistic, the curatorial and the theoretical.

www.lucycotter.org

Amanda Leigh Evans

Amanda Leigh Evans (b. 1989) was raised in the Inland Empire and near Nevada City, CA. She lives and works in Portland, OR.

Evans is a member of the Socially Engaged Craft Collective, a former Los Angeles Urban Ranger, and a founding member of the year-long public space intervention Play the LA River. She has presented work and publications at MOCA, the Portland Art Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Craft and the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego. She is also the recipient of Artplace America, the Arlene Schnitzer Visual Art Prize and the Precipice Fund. Evans holds an MFA in Art & Social Practice from Portland State University and a Post-Bac in Ceramics from Cal State Long Beach.

While you read this, she is probably at Cherry Blossom Estates, an affordable housing community in East Portland where she is the Creative-in-Residence, or at the King School Museum of Contemporary Art, where she is the Director of Artist Programs.

Michelle Illuminato

Michelle Illuminato creates events, public-exchanges, and artworks to help reveal the complicated and often contradictory relationship between people, their culture and the land they live on. She works individually and with the collective next question on projects that have been exhibited nationally and internationally.

She counts her Key to the City of Aliquippa Pennsylvania as her most treasured public award and has been recently honored by Americans for the Arts Public Art Network Year in Review for her 2015 project The Lost & Found Factory. She is the Head of the CORE Program at Portland State University and was recently honored with the Master Teacher Award by the Foundations: Art, Theory, and Education at the national conference. Her recent exhibitions include: Tripoli Street BakeYard, Neu Kirche Contemporary Art Center, Pittsburgh, Lost & Found Factory, Three Rivers Arts Festival, Pittsburgh, The Neighborhood Revisited, Open Engagement 2015, Pittsburgh, Pop Rocks, Strohl Art Center, Chautauqua Institute, NY, Lenz, Vogelfrei 10, Darmstadt, Germany.

Sarah Mirk

Sarah Mirk is a journalist and editor interested in sexual politics, gender, and media. She is the host of Bitch Media’s feminist podcast Popaganda . Mirk is the author of Sex from Scratch: Making Your Own Relationship Rules and she published the Oregon History Comics, an acclaimed series of nonfiction comics about Oregon history. Before landing at Bitch, she worked for five years as a reporter and columnist for weekly newspapers The Stranger and The Portland Mercury.

Lisa Jarrett

James DePriest Visiting Professor of Art

Assistant Professor of Community and Context Arts
Portland State University’s School of Art + Design

www.lisajarrett.com

Lisa Jarrett was born in Morristown, New Jersey. Growing up as a Black American who moved with her family to various, often conflicting political climates in cities in Texas, Minnesota, and New York, the influences of her upbringing in a post-Civil Rights and increasingly so-called “post-racial” America are apparent in her work, which seeks to confront ideas of racial difference and perceptions of racial equality.

Though conflating comparisons of self and Other within a racial context are surely not limited to the American Black Experience and can be examined in myriad global racial milieus, Jarrett’s work is typically centered upon deconstructing, defragmenting, and, in turn, reconstructing and reassembling her personal experiences as a Black woman in America into a visual expression that asks viewers to consider their own roles in present-day race relations.

Education
MFA, The University of Montana-Missoula, 2009
BFA, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY, 1999
AAS, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY, 1999

Roya Amirsoleymani

Roya Amirsoleymani is Artistic Director & Curator of Public Engagement at Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (PICA), a multidisciplinary center for contemporary and experimental art, where she co-curates the annual Time-Based Art Festival (TBA); year-round exhibitions, performances, and socially engaged projects; and critical, contextual, educational, community-based, and participatory programs. With PICA, she has designed and helps manage the Creative Exchange Lab artist residency program, the Crucial Bonding program for youth and artist mentors of color, and the Precipice Fund, a grantmaking program through the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts’ Regional Regranting Program. She is PICA’s primary liaison to the Black Art Ecology of Portland project and is part of a PICA team supporting the development of the international Global First Nations Performance Network. In her work with PICA and beyond, she strives to foreground complex questions and concerns of access, equity, and inclusion for experimental art and its institutions.
Roya is a founding member of Arts Workers for Equity (AWE), which seeks to advance racial equity in Portland’s cultural sector, and is on faculty in the Art & Social Practice MFA Program at Portland State University. She has presented at international, national, and local conferences and convenings and has served on numerous national and regional grant panels and award committees. She holds a BA in Contemporary Visual Culture & Gender Studies (Johnston Center for Integrative Studies, California) and a Masters’ in Arts Management (University of Oregon).
As faculty in the MFA Art & Social Practice Program at Portland State University, she has taught courses in Critical Art Theory, Art History II, Writing & Research, and Directed Studies, and she regularly serves on students’ graduate committees.

Ariana Jacob

publicwondering.wordpress.com

Ariana Jacob makes artwork that uses conversation to explore political and personal interdependence and disconnection. Prior to working as an artist and academic Ariana managed a farmers market, worked in a cabinet shop, co-ran a secret cafe out of her apartment, and fished for salmon commercially. While being an artist and academic Ariana also does union organizing and group facilitation, alongside being a partner, friend, family member and wonderer. Ariana currently teaches in the Social Practice MFA Program at Portland State University and is the Chair of Bargaining for PSUFA Adjunct Faculty Union. Her work has been included in the NW Biennial at the Tacoma Art Museum, Disjecta’s Portland 2012 Biennial, the Open Engagement Conference, the Discourse and Discord Symposium at the Walker Art Center. She has exhibited work and organized events at apexart and Smack Mellon in New York City, Betonsalon in Paris, France, Broken City Lab in Windsor, ON, Canada, PICA’s TBA Festival, The Portland Art Museum, The Department of Safety in Anacortes, WA, Southern Exposure in San Francisco, CA; and in many public places.

Harrell Fletcher

Professor, Founder of the Art and Social Practice MFA Concentration

www.harrellfletcher.com

Harrell Fletcher received his BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute and his MFA from California College of the Arts. He studied organic farming at UCSC and went on to work on a variety of small Community Supported Agriculture farms, which impacted his work as an artist. Fletcher has produced a variety of socially engaged collaborative and interdisciplinary projects since the early 1990 ’ s. His work has been shown at SFMOMA, the de Young Museum, the Berkeley Art Museum, the Wattis Institute, and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in the San Francisco Bay Area, The Drawing Center, Socrates Sculpture Park, The Sculpture Center, The Wrong Gallery, Apex Art, and Smack Mellon in NYC, DiverseWorks and Aurora Picture show in Houston, TX, PICA in Portland, OR, CoCA and The Seattle Art Museum in Seattle, WA, Signal in Malmo, Sweden, Domain de Kerguehennec in France, The Tate Modern in London, and the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, Australia. He was a participant in the 2004 Whitney Biennial. Fletcher has work in the collections of MoMA, The Whitney Museum, The New Museum, SFMOMA, The Hammer Museum, The Berkeley Art Museum, The De Young Museum, and The FRAC Brittany, France. From 2002 to 2009 Fletcher coproduced Learning To Love You More, a participatory website with Miranda July. Fletcher is the 2005 recipient of the Alpert Award in Visual Arts. His exhibition The American War originated in 2005 at ArtPace in San Antonio, TX, and traveled to Solvent Space in Richmond, VA, White Columns in NYC, The Center For Advanced Visual Studies MIT in Boston, MA, PICA in Portland, OR, and LAXART in Los Angeles among other locations.