Visiting Scholar Lydia Matthews

Lydia Matthews is a Brooklyn and Athens-based critical writer, contemporary art curator, educator and cultural activist who currently serves as Professor of Visual Culture in the Fine Arts program of Parsons School of Design and Director of the Curatorial Design Research Lab at The New School. Trained as a contemporary art historian at the University of California, Berkeley and the University of London’s Courtauld Institute, her work focuses on the intersection of current art/craft/design practices, diverse local cultures and global economies. Thus far, she has been invited to design curatorial ventures in New York, Greece, Turkey, Georgia, Kazakhstan, and the Czech Republic.

Before relocating to New York in 2006, she taught for 17 years at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco. There she co-founded and chaired the graduate program in Visual Critical Studies and co-directed the MFA program in Fine Arts, which launched the first MFA program in Social Practice in the United States in 2005. From 2007-2012, she served as Dean of Academic Programs at Parsons, facilitating a restructure of the school and a collaborative, faculty-led re-design of the undergraduate curriculum to promote cross-disciplinarity and empower students to better respond to the conditions of today’s complex global arena. In 2011 she launched the Curatorial Design Research Lab (CDRL) across The New School, thus establishing a network of multidisciplinary colleagues dedicated to exploring the intersection of curatorial, pedagogical and activist practices. The Lab’s current project, I Stand In My Place With My Own Day Here: Site-Specific Art at The New School (forthcoming book/website, 2019) features the writing of over 50 authors–including Claudia Rankine, Lucy Lippard, Holland Cotter, Maggie Nelson, and others—demonstrating how a collection of commissioned artworks can embody and inspire polyvocal narratives over time.


Adrian Ruth Williams

Adrian Williams (b. 1979, Portland, Oregon) is a transdisciplinary artist and writer invested in various forms of language. Her practice involves voice, text, sound, video, photography, performance, and the immersive handling of space. Employing conceptual narrative structures, her work revolves in both literal and fictitious arenas, fielding the conditions that determine form to explore the form of the human condition. 

Williams’ work has been exhibited internationally at institutions including the 21er Haus, Vienna, Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg, Portikus, Frankfurt, Artpace, San Antonio, Art Production Fund LAB, New York, GAM – Galleria Civica D’Arte Moderna E Contemporanea, Turin, MACBA, Barcelona, the Athens Biennial, Athens. 

Williams received a Bachelors degree from the Cooper Union, New York, and is a Meisterschulerin of the Städelschule, Frankfurt. She resides in Frankfurt, Germany and is a doctoral candidate at the University of Applied Sciences (HFG), Offenbach, writing about voice. 


Kiara Hill

Alison Heryer

Alison Heryer is an interdisciplinary artist whose work combines costume, installation, performance, and community engagement. As a costume designer, she is a member of United Scenic Artists, Local 829.  Her design credits include productions at Steppenwolf Theatre Company, 59E59 Theaters, La MaMa, The New Victory Theater, Portland Center Stage, Portland Opera, Kansas City Repertory Theatre, Indiana Repertory Theatre, Artists Repertory Theatre, ZACH Theatre, The Hypocrites, and Redmoon. Her work has been featured in exhibitions at the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art, World Stage Design, and The Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space. Awards include a RACC Build Grant, Drammy Award and Austin Critics Table Award for Costume Design, and the ArtsKC Inspiration Grant.  Heryer is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis and the University of Texas at Austin.  She is a faculty member at Portland State University where she was recently granted the Sue Horn-Caskey & Charles F. Caskey Professorship of Textile Arts & Costume Design.

Alison Heryer’s 2021/2022 projects have been generously supported by a RACC Build Grant.


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

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

Associate Professor of Community and Context Arts

Portland State University’s School of Art + Design


Lisa Jarrett is an artist and educator. She is Associate Professor of Community and Context Arts at Portland State University’s School of Art + Design. She is co-founder and co-director of KSMoCA (Dr MLK Jr  School Museum of Contemporary Art) and the Harriet Tubman Middle School Center for Expanded Curatorial Practice in NE Portland, OR, and the artists collective Art 25: Art in the 25th Century. Her intersectional practice considers the politics of difference within a variety of settings including: schools, landscapes, fictions, racial imaginaries, studios, communities, museums, galleries, walls, mountains, mirrors, floors, rivers, and lenses. She exists and makes socially engaged work within the African Diaspora. She recently discovered that her primary medium is questions.

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

Ariana Jacob


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


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.