The UCSB Department of Art Visiting Artist Colloquium features ten Artist Talks that are scheduled each Thursday evening from 5:00-6:50pm in UCSB’s Embarcadero Hall in Isla Vista. All lectures are free and open to the public.  For directions to the location, please see this campus map.

Thursday, April 6th: Nina Sarnelle



Nina Sarnelle (she/they) is an artist and musician living on stolen Tongva/Kizh land often referred to as Los Angeles. Their artwork includes participatory performances, music composition, video and sculpture, and interfaces with sites of neocolonialism(s), ecological destruction and labor exploitation in strange and intimate ways. She earned degrees from Oberlin College and Carnegie Mellon University, and recently had a solo video exhibition at the New Museum. Their work has also shown at Whitechapel Gallery (London), Hammer Museum (LA), Getty Center (LA), Ballroom Marfa (TX), MoMA (NY), Istanbul Modern (Turkey), Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (Berlin), MAAT (Lisbon), Fundacion PROA (Buenos Aires), Black Cube (Denver), Southern Exposure (San Francisco), Recess (NY), UNSW Galleries (Sydney), Project 88 (Mumbai), Villa Croce Contemporary Art Museum (Genova), Mwoods (Beijing), Human Resources (LA) and others; and been featured in Frieze, Art in America, Vogue Italy, Huffington Post, SFMoMA, Creators Project, FlashArt, and Hyperallergic.


Photo: Sara Drake


Thursday, April 13th: Christopher Suarez




Christopher Suarez is an artist born, raised, and based in Long Beach, CA. Suarez uses clay and mixed media to recreate the roads, neighborhood shops, and restaurant joints that define his life experiences. Suarez’s work examines his personal connection to home and explores the relationship between communities and their built environment. His sculptures document the architectural structures and public spaces that act as sites of cultural reproduction and sustainability. While Suarez celebrates the aesthetic identity of Latino and working class communities he reveals the precarious state in which they exist.

Christopher Suarez received his BFA in Ceramic Arts from California State University, Long Beach. Suarez has served as the Lead ArtsBridge Teacher at the California State University, Long Beach. Suarez was awarded a Summer 2021 residency at Township 10 in western North Carolina, and most recently was Artist in Residence at the American Museum of Ceramic Arts (AMOCA). His work has been exhibited at Stanleys, Sebastian Gladstone, John Wolf Fine Art, and Werby Gallery at CSULB.


Presented in conjunction with Suarez’ exhibition ESPÍRITUTECTUAL at the
Art, Design & Architecture Museum.

Image: Anaheim Center, 2022, Photo: Ruben Diaz, courtesy of Sebastian Gladstone Gallery



Thursday, April 20th: Colin Gardner




Colin Gardner is Professor of Critical Theory and Integrative Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he teaches in the departments of Art, Film & Media Studies, the History of Art and Architecture and the Comparative Literature program. His most recent monograph is Chaoid Cinema: Deleuze and Guattari and the Topological Vector of Silence (Edinburgh University Press, 2021), which explores the use of sonic drop-outs in sound films in order to explore different  organizations of chaos (Chaoids) that underlie the surface plane of narrative. This builds upon  his previous book, Beckett, Deleuze and the Televisual Event: Peephole Art (Palgrave

Macmillan, 2012), a critical study of Samuel Beckett’s experimental work for film and  television and two books for Manchester  University Press’s ‘British Film Makers’ series: Joseph Losey (2004) and Karel Reisz (2006). He has also co-edited two anthologies with

Patricia MacCormack (Anglia Ruskin University):

Deleuze and the Animal (2017, for Edinburgh

University Press) and Ecosophical Aesthetics: 

Art Ethics and Ecology with Guattari (2018, Bloomsbury Academic).



Thursday, April 27th: Aurora Tang ____________________________________________________________________________________



Aurora Tang is a curator and researcher based in Los Angeles. Tang has worked with the Center for Land Use Interpretation (CLUI) since 2009, and currently serves as its program director. As an independent curator Tang has organized recent exhibitions at the MAK Center for Art and Architecture, MOCA Tucson, and the City of West Hollywood. She has also worked with the Getty Research Institute, Getty Conservation Institute, and High Desert Test Sites, where she was managing director from 2011–15. Tang has taught at schools including Otis College of Art and Design and the University of Southern California. She is the recipient of an Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts Curatorial Research Fellowship.

Photo: Elon Schoenholz



Thursday, May 4th: Jenni Sorkin




Jenni Sorkin is Professor of History of Art & Architecture at University of California, Santa Barbara. She writes on the intersections between gender, material culture, and contemporary art, working primarily on women artists and underrepresented media. Her books include: Live Form: Women, Ceramics and Community (University of Chicago, 2016), Revolution in the Making: Abstract Sculpture by Women Artists, 1947-2016 (Skira, 2016) and Art in California (Thames & Hudson, 2021), as well as numerous essays in journals and exhibition catalogs. She serves as the Co-Executive Editor of Panorama: the Association of Historians of American Art and is a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Modern Craft. She received her PhD in the History of Art from
Yale University.



Thursday, May 11th: Aryana Minai


Aryana Minai makes paper-based sculptures and wall works that are intimately linked to philosophies and histories of architecture, migration, labor, the body, and the handmade. Minai identifies paper as a material that links storytelling, tradition, and craft, centering her practice on the diasporic subject’s daily lived experiences as she draws from her personal archive of decontextualized Iranian-American content. The architectural quality of Minai’s works embody a lived survival instinct—to preserve historic space and inhabit safe spaces—as well as an interest in what salvaged and saved materials can teach us. Using bricks and stones from buildings that no longer exist, woodblocks from Iran used a generation ago to create textile patterns, parts of vernacular decorative architecture, Minai embosses into paper that she pulps from found materials. Minai envisions architecture as a living entity that continually sheds and acquires memories as bodies pass through its spaces.

Minai received her BFA from Art Center College of Design in 2016 and her MFA from Yale School of Art in 2020. Minai’s work has been exhibited at venues including the Craft Contemporary Museum, OCHI, and Steve Turner in Los Angeles, CA; Brand Library & Art Center in Glendale, CA; and Galerie Perrotin and Ed. Varie in New York, NY. Her work has been featured in publications including Artnet News, LA Weekly, Whitehot Magazine, and Arte East. Minai lives and works in Los Angeles, CA and is represented by OCHI in Sun Valley, ID and Los Angeles, CA.


Image: Brother’s Arch, 2022, Photo: Deen Babakhyi, courtesy of OCHI.



Thursday, May 18th: Kim Garcia




Kim Garcia is an artist working in sculpture, drawing, and painting. Her practice explores social dynamics and residual trauma from interpersonal relationships, community structures, and memory. Kim comes from a  background in creating collaborative community projects that often employ alternative spaces to explore studio art practices, site-specific collaboration, and museum and exhibition research. She is the founder of The Cold Read, an online critique group and artist collective that engages in gestures of care and support through writing, and is one of the co-founders of after hours gallery, a seasonal art gallery in Los Angeles that hosts two-person exhibitions.  She has most recently shown her work at Phase Gallery, Peripheral Space, DXIX Projects, Human Resources, Torrance Art Museum, Doppler Projects (GA), Scharaun (Germany), CICA Museum (Korea), and Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego. Kim is based in Los Angeles and received her BA from UC San Diego and her MFA from UC Irvine


Thursday, May 25th: MFA Thesis Roundtable



The Department of Art master’s candidates discuss their research and practice in conjunction with the 2023 thesis exhibition Chaotic Good, on view at the AD&A Museum May 19th – June 4th, 2023.


With Kevin Clancy, Katherine Parker, Maja SkjĂžth Hegelund, Matthew Robert Johnson, Dani Kwan & Kate Saubestre


Moderated by Victoria Jennings & LetĂ­cia Cobra Lima, Ph.D. Candidates, History of Art & Architecture.


Thursday, June 1st: Organizing as Practice


This panel brings together curators, gallerists, and arts organizers for a conversation on new spaces and budding modalities for supporting the arts in Los Angeles. From commercial galleries to artist-run spaces and community organizations, each participant has cultivated a creative practice that builds and holds space for emerging artistic practices. Their ongoing work, integral to the robust cultural landscape of Southern California, questions and expands the historical canon of how art is viewed and displayed, redefining our understanding of what an exhibition space can entail.


With Karen Galloway (Sow & Tailor), Paulina Lara (LaPau Gallery), Ezequiel Olvera (Court Space) & Emma Robbins (The Chapter House).


Co-Sponsored by the Arts Equity Commons, UC Advancing Faculty Diversity (AFD), UC Santa Barbara.





Karen Galloway (born 1987, Pasadena) is the Owner and Director of Sow & Tailor, Los Angeles established in 2021. While growing up in Pasadena, her love for art was forged by her mother at a young age. The opening of the gallery was inspired by the arrival of Galloway’s daughter Spring. After working in the fashion industry for several years, Karen made the change to focus on her passion for art by opening Sow & Tailor fueled by family values and community. Though the gallery is young Karen has made waves in the global art scene through her accomplishments of being accepted into Frieze, Armory and Felix, as well as her curatorial endeavors at institutions both regionally and overseas. Karen is driven to stay an active member of the Los Angeles art community by supporting emerging artists by working with them in depth to nurture, educate, and inspire their practices to grow. Sow & Tailor, established in 2021 by Karen Galloway, is a Black-owned and family-operated contemporary art gallery in downtown Los Angeles. Since its inception, the gallery has staged pioneering exhibitions and offsite curatorial projects with both regional and international emerging, mid-career, and established artists. Our programming remains dedicated to promoting diversity and intersectionality by fostering a space where creatives can thrive both within our gallery walls and abroad. Sow & Tailor curatorial projects are institutionally driven with a focus on activating cultural centres and museums, including exhibitions at K11 Musea (Hong Kong), JACCC (Los Angeles, and forthcoming at the Long Beach Museum of Art (Long Beach). Sow & Tailor has participated at The Armory Show – New York, Frieze – Los Angeles, and Felix Art Fair – Los Angeles and forthcoming The Armory Show – New York, 2023.

Photo: Enio Hernandez


Paulina Lara is a producer, arts and music curator born and based in Los Angeles California.  She founded and runs LaPau Gallery in 2021 which aims to create dialogues through interactive and thought-provoking exhibitions of art and its intersections. Her gallery program and artists has been featured and reviewed at Artforum, Aperture, ArtNews and the Los Angeles Times. In 2021 she co-curated a group exhibition, We Live Memories of Resistance at Oxy Arts and in 2019 she co-curated an exhibition Liberate the Bar! Queer Nightlife, Activism, and Spacemaking organized in collaboration with ONE Archives at USC Libraries. She holds a BA in Art History, Theory, and Criticism and Ethnic Studies from UC San Diego.


Ezequiel Olvera is a curator and the director of Court Space, a project that initiates dialogue between the public and private art establishments. His practice is devoted to piercing institutions through projects utilizing critical discourse, site-specific concepts, and radical aesthetics. He is interested in forging a culture of prestige for black and brown artists through elevating the poetic expression within American survivalism, intellectual hustling, and gambling artistic intuition. His writing has been published by X-Tra, Topical Cream and The Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles.

Photo: Karen Achar Galindo


Emma Robbins is a DinĂ© artist, activist, and community organizer. As Executive Director of the Navajo Water Project, part of the human rights nonprofit DigDeep Water, she collaborates with communities to create infrastructure that brings clean running water to the one in three Navajo families without it. Robbins is also the founder of The Chapter House, an Indigenous women-led community arts space, designed for Natives and welcoming all. All of her work is centered around education, Indigenization, and community collaboration. Robbins completed her BFA at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and studied Modern Latin American Art History in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She has been featured in The Washington Post, Harper’s Bazaar, NPR, and on Erin Brockovich’s podcast, and has lectured at Yale, Brown, MIT and Skoll. She is an Aspen Institute Healthy Communities Fellow, serves on the Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, and is a recipient of an Environmental Leader Award. Robbins is a mother, has a dog named Cindy Sherman, and resides on Tongvaland (Los Angeles).



Thursday, June 8th: Rita McBride



Rita McBride was born in Des Moines, Iowa in 1960. She currently lives and works in DĂŒsseldorf, Germany and Los Alamos, California. She received a BA from Bard College and an MFA from the California Institute of the Arts. In 1987, she began to explore architectural and sculptural form in works ranging from small scale objects to large public commissions. She is the recipient of the Lee Krasner Award for lifetime achievement (2021-23).


Her major public commissions include Practicing (in collaboration with Jeanne van den Horst) (2022); National Chain 2020 / Social Practices (in collaboration with Alexandra Waierstall and Fontys Dance Academy), De Pont Museum, Tilburg, Particulates, Dia Art Foundation, New York (2017); Portal, Liverpool Biennial of Contemporary Art (2016); Obelisk of Tutankhamum, Cologne (2017); Donkey!s Way, Mönchengladbach (2016); Artifacts (C.W.D), P.S. 315, Queens, New York (2015); Bells and Whistles, The New School, New York, (2014); Mae West, Munich (2011); and Arena, Kunstinstituut Melly (formerly Witte de With), Rotterdam (1997).


Institutional solo exhibitions include Particulates, Hammer Museum (2023); Arena, Bauhaus Museum Dessau; Explorer, Wiels, Brussels (2017); gesellschaft, Kestner Gesellschaft, Hannover and Kunsthalle DĂŒsseldorf (2015–2016); Public Tilt, Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego (2014); TransacciĂłn pĂșblica, Museo Tamayo, Mexico City (2013–14); Public Tender, Museu d!Art Contemporani de Barcelona (2012); Previously, Kunstmuseum Winterthur, Switzerland (2010); and Public Works, Museum Abteiberg, Mönchengladbach (2008).

Group exhibitions include I Continue to Live in My Glass House, Alexander and Bonin, New York (2023); Beta Epochs, L.A. CA.; Suite Matrimonial (with Glen Rubsamen), Mai 36 Galerie, ZĂŒrich (2021); gerlach en koop: Was machen Sie um Zwei? Ich schlafe, GAK Gesellschaft fĂŒr Aktuelle Kunst, Bremen (2021–21); Studio for Propositional Cinema: In Relation to a Spectator, Kestner Gesellschaft, Hannover (2017); Everything Architecture, Bozar, Palais des Beaux-Art, Brussels, (2016); Liverpool Biennial (2016); Making Is Thinking, Witte de With, Rotterdam (2011); The World as a Stage, Tate Modern, London and Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston (2007); and What If: Art on the Verge of Architecture and Design, Moderna Museet, Stockholm (2000).

Image: Particulates, 2023 at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles. Photo by: Joshua White.