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.
Shayla Lawson (pronounced Chet’la) is (and / or, at times, has been) an amateur acrobat, an architect, a Dutch housewife, & dog mother to one irascible hound.
Her work has appeared in print & online at Tin House, GRAMMA, ESPN, Salon, The Offing, Guernica, Colorado Review, Barrelhouse, & MiPOesias. She is the author of: A Speed Education in Human Being, PANTONE, & the forthcoming I Think I’m Ready to See Frank Ocean.
She is a 2017 Oregon Literary & MacDowell Colony Fellow, & a member of The Affrilachian Poets.
Yaelle Amir (b. Haifa, Israel) is a curator and researcher based in Portland, OR. Her writing and curatorial projects focus primarily on artists whose practices supplement the initiatives of existing social movements—rendering themes within those struggles in ways that both interrogate and promote these issues to a wider audience. She has curated exhibitions at Artists Space, CUE Art Foundation, Franklin Street Works, ISE Cultural Foundation, The Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts, Marginal Utility, and the Wallach Art Gallery at Columbia University, among others. Her writing has appeared in numerous art publications including Art in America, ArtLies, ArtSlant, ArtUS, Beautiful/Decay, and Sculpture Magazine. She has also worked at major New York art institutions, such as the International Center of Photography, Rubin Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, and NYU’s Institute of Fine Arts. Yaelle is the recipient of several curatorial fellowships and awards by national organizations from The Luminary and Paul Artspace in St. Louis, to BRIC Media and the Art & Law Program in New York. From March 2015 to July 2017, Yaelle held the position of Curator of Exhibitions & Public Programs at Newspace Center for Photography in Portland, OR.
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 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.
James DePriest Visiting Professor of Art
Assistant Professor of Community and Context Arts
Portland State University’s School of Art + Design
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.
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 is the Community Engagement Manager for the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (PICA), which presents contemporary and experimental exhibitions and performances, provided artist residencies and commissions, and produced the annual TimeBased Art Festival (TBA). Committed to exploring and investigating the politics and possibilities of socially engaged, communitybased, and inclusiondriven programming practices in contemporary art and performance, Roya curates public programs and oversees all education and engagement initiatives. In her role, Roya is responsible for cultivating PICA’s arts, academic, nonprofit, grassroots, cultural, and youth partnerships, and for curating artist talks, lectures, conversations, workshops, panel discussions, community forums, and annual symposia, in the process striving to build unique opportunities for conversation, connection, and contextualization among artists, activists, scholars, and a diverse public, and to make space for experimentation with the modes and methods of dialogue and inquiry in and about contemporary art. Roya also comanages PICA’s Resource Room, as well as the Precipice Fund, a grants program for experimental, collaborative visual art projects in Portland.
Ariana Jacob holds an MFA in Art & Social Practice from Portland State University. She has exhibited work and organized events at apexart and Smack Mellon in New York City, Betonsalon in Paris, France, The Portland Institute for Contemporary Art’s Time Based Arts Festival, The Portland Art Museum, and Gallery Homeland in Portland, OR, Southern Exposure, in San Francisco, CA; and in many public places. Her work has been included in the NW Biennial at the Tacoma Art Museum, Disjecta’s Portland 2012 Biennial, The Open Engagement Conference and the Discourse and Discord Symposium at the Walker Art Center.
Professor, Founder of the Art and Social Practice MFA Concentration
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.