Luz Blumenfeld

Luz Blumenfeld (they/them) is a transdisciplinary socially engaged artist who is third generation from Oakland, CA and currently lives and works in Portland, OR where they are in their second year of the Art & Social Practice program.

Luz’s practice involves ongoing collaborations with their preschool students, DIY artist-in-residencies, and always observing and taking notes on everything.

You can see some of their work here. You can also follow them on Instagram at @dogsighs__

Becca Kauffman

I am a socially inclined artist in Portland, Oregon practicing art as a public utility through interactive performance, devised gatherings, and neighborhood interventions. My work has taken the form of an unsanctioned artist residency in Times Square, a public access television show, T-shirts functioning as conversation pieces, DJ sets, music videos, choreographed stage shows, original pop music under the moniker Jennifer Vanilla co-created with NYC producer and technologist Brian Abelson, a pedestrian parade with a group of fifth grade crossing guards, a comprehensive artistic campaign to get a crosswalk painted in Queens, and installing myself as Unofficial Mall Artist at Lloyd Center in Portland.

All my projects are catalogued at

Jennifer Vanilla’s take on Mickey Mouse, if Mickey Mouse were the devil. Escapism is ok as long as we eventually come back, right? Jennifer and Its Angels, performed at a music concert opening for !!! at Elsewhere, Brooklyn, 2021. With dancers Ry Eshel and Jo Warren.

Souvenirs for the Jennifer Vanilla experience, thrift store-sourced and hand-lettered since 2016. The full catalog lives here.

Social Souvenir Hotline with Jenny V. on The Lot Radio, Times Square, NYC 2021. A live hybrid radio show incorporating performance, spoken word, a DJ set, and an interview with a local resident named Clarence.

Social Souvenirs, 2021. A project in which the souvenir is the socializing itself, manifested in a T-shirt gifted to the recipient in exchange for a conversation.

Laura Glazer

Laura Glazer is an artist using curatorial strategies to uncover and share exciting stories that she finds in places she lives and visits. Her work is socially-engaged and depends on the participation of other people, sometimes a close friend, and other times, complete strangers. Her background in photography and design inform her social practice, and her projects appear as books, workshops, radio shows, zines, festivals, exhibitions, installations, posters, signs, postal correspondence, and sculpture. 

Glazer holds a BFA in Photography from Rochester Institute of Technology and is an MFA candidate in Art and Social Practice from Portland State University. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, including the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at Portland State University, Salem Art Works (NY), Albany Center Gallery (NY), and the Opalka Gallery of the Sage Colleges (NY). Her work has been published in The New York Times Magazine, the Wall Street Journal, NPR, and the BBC.

Her recent projects include a city-wide poster campaign honoring an under-appreciated film director (Agnès Varda) in collaboration with Jennifer “JJ” Jones, an artist residency at a movie theater, an award-winning community radio program, and a collaboratively researched and developed performance and exhibit about a turn of the century Portland poet. Her book of photographs and interviews I Want Everyone to Know: The Black History Month Doors at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School was published by the Dr Martin Luther King Jr School Museum of Contemporary Art (KSMoCA) in April 2022.

Born in northern Virginia, she was a longtime resident of upstate New York and is now based in Portland, Oregon., @helloprettycity

Caryn Aasness

Caryn Aasness wants to invite you into their brain. In it we explore mental illness, and the folk art of coping mechanisms. We investigate queerness and how it forms and severs multiple selves. We look to language and learn how to cheat at it. You are welcome to leave the brain at any time. 

Caryn has achieved things and been awarded an award. They have a degree in Fiber from CSU in Long Beach, the city where they were born and raised. They want you to know they thought about you while writing this.

Diana Marcela Cuartas

Colombian artist living in Portland, Oregon

Through multiple approaches, Diana’s practice reflects on the relationships knitted between a place and those who inhabit it. Her projects often scrutinize the discourses, aesthetics, values, common errands, and other idiosyncrasies of a particular context or subject, by breaking through the habitual readings of it.

Diana was Head of Public Programs for four years at Espacio Odeón, an independent organization that promotes contemporary artistic creation and performing arts in Bogotá, Colombia. Formerly she was part of the non-profit art space Lugar a Dudas(A place for doubts), dedicated to promoting contemporary art with a global focus in Cali, Colombia.  As an independent researcher, she has been an artist in residence in La Usurpadora (Puerto Colombia), Bisagra (Lima), Tatlelolco Central (Mexico City), and Beta-Local (San Juan, Puerto Rico), studying different popular culture phenomena.

In 2019 she moved to Portland, Oregon, where she has been working independently for the promotion and exchange of interdisciplinary projects between Pacific Northwest and Latin American artists.

Kiara Walls

Kiara Walls is a teaching visual artist, originally from LA but now stationed in Dallas, Texas. Her work is centered around increasing awareness of the need and demand for reparations to repair the injuries inflicted on the African American communityThis interpretation is seen through many forms including story-telling and site specific installations including audio and visuals.

The Black Box Experience

The Black Box Experience (located in Los Angeles, CA)  incorporates visuals along with audio that recreates the black narrative in a large scale wooden box. By combining both visual and audio sensory,  the black box creates an experience that is similar to the subconscious mind of a minority.

“Through abstract form and visuals, I create a style that is representational of injuries African Americans have suffered during and after enslavement. These injury areas include people hood/nationhood, education, health, criminal punishment, wealth and poverty. I am focusing on the injury area of reparations that interconnects with wealth and poverty. It intersects with the negative effects of systematic racism that has resulted in the division of wealth and poverty among the African American community. I produce visual interpretations of the injuries through video and sculpture juxtaposed with spoken word.”

Black Box Conversation Series