ART NOW: Visiting Artists Lecture Series aims to introduce Willamette students and the greater Salem community to provocative contemporary artists working today. Through public lectures and studio workshops, ART NOW visiting artists will provide insight on their artwork and studio practice, as well as share their research and inspiration. 

"Hearing first-hand about the thought process, experimentation, and decision-making behind a piece of artwork illuminates the creative process for our students," says assistant professor Cayla Skillin-Brauchle. "Our goal is to bring in contemporary artists working with compelling concepts and processes."

Spring 2021

Ralph Pugay.jpeg

Ralph Pugay 
Monday, April 19, 5:30-6:30pm
Zoom Meeting ID: 914 8209 3729

Ralph Pugay (b. Cavite Philippines) draws, paints and organizes participatory projects in Portland, Oregon, where he lives and works. He employs the visual vernacular of late capitalism to render absurd fantasy worlds that allegorize the slippery and multifaceted experience of otherness. 

Notable solo exhibitions of his work have been held at the Seattle Art Museum, Upfor, Vox Populi, FAB Gallery at Virginia Commonwealth University, and King School Museum of Contemporary Art, among others. His work has also been included in group exhibitions at Dust to Dust Projects at High Desert Test Sites, AA|LA, PNCA Center for Art and Culture, The Art Gym, Salt Lake Art Center, Marinaro, and Ortega Y Gasset Projects, to name a few. 

Pugay has been artist-in-residence at Crow’s Shadow Institute for the Arts, PICA’s Creative Exchange Lab, Joan Mitchell Center, Rauschenberg Residency, Vermont Studio Center, and Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. His work has received support from the Joan Mitchell Painters and Sculptors Program, the Betty Bowen Award, the International Sculpture Center, Regional Arts and Culture Council, Oregon Arts Commission, and the Ford Family Foundation. He studied art at Portland State University, where he was recently appointed as assistant professor of art practice.

carmina eliason corridos

Carmina Eliason
Tuesday, February 2, 5:30-6:30pm
Zoom Meeting ID: 949 8921 4435

Carmina Eliason is an interdisciplinary artist who uses everyday objects to relate stories of human experience. Kitchen tables, coffee with milk, empty pickle jars, stained tablecloths, and handkerchiefs become the material to reflect on intimate experiences of identity, inner wounds and personal history. They also provide the spark for conversation and participation in her community-inspired and community-sourced artworks.

Eliason’s work reflects on the complex and interweaving stories of — and our relationship to — immigration, domestic violence, skin color, mental health and the labor of caregiving. In addition to using reclaimed household objects and textiles, Eliason uses written and spoken word, performance, and contemporary and historical photography practices.

Eliason’s mother immigrated to the U.S. from Mexico when she was pregnant. Born in the U.S. and a native English speaker, Eliason finds herself in a complex relationship with her skin color, Spanish as her second language, and Mexican identity. Also a descendent of Swedish-U.S. migration of the early 1900’s, Eliason is curious about the ways we connect to personal history while simultaneously relating to one another in the present.

Fall 2020

ashley stull meyers

Ashley Stull Meyers
Thursday, November 12, 5:30-6:30pm
Zoom Meeting ID: 947 5149 3079

Ashley Stull Meyers is a writer, editor and curator. She has curated exhibitions and public programming for a diverse set of arts institutions along the West Coast, including those in San Francisco, Oakland, Seattle and Portland. She has been in academic residency at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Art (Omaha, Nebraska) and the Banff Centre (Banff, Alberta). She has worked as Northwest editor for Art Practical and contributed writing to Bomb Magazine, Rhizome, Arts.Black and SFAQ/NYAQ. In 2017, Stull Meyers was named director and curator of The Art Gym and Belluschi Pavilion at Marylhurst University, and was made co-curator of the 2019 Portland Biennial. Currently, she serves as director of the Multicultural Resource Center at Reed College. She is based in Portland.


julia bradshaw

Julia Bradshaw
Thursday, September 24, 5:30-6:30
Zoom Meeting ID: 988 5420 7017

Julia Bradshaw’s projects often have an artful playfulness and are a response to her social environment such as being a foreigner, flying or reading. Other projects focus on photographic technologies and the intersection between science and art. She received her MFA in 2007 from San José State University with an emphasis on photography and video art. She is currently associate professor in the School of Arts and Communications at Oregon State University, where she has taught photography and video-art for seven years.

Bradshaw’s video-art and photography projects are on exhibit throughout the United States and internationally in Guatemala, The Netherlands, Poland and Germany. Her artist book, “Flying,” is in the Getty Research Collection. Her print, “Working Back-Up,” is in the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco collection and the Oakland Museum of Art. In 2018, she was awarded residencies at Disjecta in California and Playa in Oregon. For both of these residencies, she was awarded support from the Ford Family Foundation. She is also a curator, most recently curating the exhibition, “Totality,” which consists of artworks relating to our human response to the cosmos at the Fairbanks Gallery at Oregon State University to coincide with the 2017 solar eclipse.

Spring 2020

Kathryn Cellerini Moore

Kathryn Cellerini Moore
Friday, January 31, 4:00-5:00pm

For interdisciplinary artist Kathryn Cellerini Moore, art making is the active process of searching for visual moments that express our passive connection and active engagement with human beings, nonhuman relatives, and nonliving materials. Since it can be seemingly impossible to imagine just how interconnected we are to the visible and micro-visible life forms around us, Moore’s art offers a starting point from which to examine how we each play a role (willingly or not) in environmental, biological, and cultural ecosystems. Blending her interests of science and art, Moore plays with light, shadow, color and space to create abstractions of the natural world. In a political climate that aims to divide us from one another and our natural treasures, Moore feels urgency to create quiet moments for people to reflect on our interconnectedness to one another and our environment.

Kathryn Cellerini Moore's artwork was curated into the Month of Performance Art in Berlin, Germany, the Does Live Art Have to Be Experienced Live? performance art series at SOIL Gallery in Seattle, WA, and the experimental performance event Collective Becoming: Expressions of Love, Freedom and Resistance at the School of the Art Institute in Chicago. Her work was exhibited in venues including The Art and History Museum in Maitland, FL; Duplex Gallery in Portland, OR; The Schneider Museum of Art in Ashland, OR; The McDonough Museum of Art in Youngstown, OH; The Center of Contemporary Art (CoCA) in Seattle, WA; Hunter College Times Square Gallery in NY, NY; and Besse Gallery at Bay College, Escanaba, MI. Moore presented her research at the first Mokuhanga Conference in Kyoto and Awaji, Japan, and was recently an artist-in-residence at PLAYA Summer Lake, TEDx, and Djerassi Artist Residency Program. In 2020, Moore will join the Oregon Art Commission’s Art in Public Places artist roster.

Fall 2019

V. Maldonado

V. Maldonado
Tuesday, November 12, 7:00-8:00pm

V. Maldonado is a multidisciplinary artist, freelance curator, and writer who lives and works in Portland, OR.  

Born in 1976 in Changuitirio, Michoacan, Mexico, they grew up in the Central San Joaquin Valley of California in a family of migrant field laborers. Currently Assistant Dean for Diversity and Inclusions at Pacific Northwest College of Art, Maldonado holds a BFA in Painting and Drawing from the California College of Art (2000), and their MFA in Painting and Drawing from the School of the Art Institute in Chicago (2005).

Deploying both traditional media including painting, printmaking and drawing alongside contemporary strategies such as performance, installation and intervention, Maldonado expresses the power of identity to author experience and perception.  Their work is included in the permanent collections of the Portland Art Museum, the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at the University of Oregon, the Tacoma Art Museum, Tacoma, WA, the Museum of Fine Art, Houston, TX and the Hallie Ford Museum of Art, Salem, OR. 

Spring 2019

Nina Sarnelle, Bio_Sound for the Long Hole

Nina Sarnelle
Wednesday, February 13, 4:15-5:15pm

Nina Sarnelle is an artist and musician living in Los Angeles, with a BA from Oberlin College and an MFA from Carnegie Mellon University. She is a founding member of the Institute for New Feeling and dadpranks. In the last few years her work has been shown at Whitechapel Gallery, Hammer Museum, the Getty Center, Ballroom Marfa, MoMA (NY), Istanbul Modern, Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, NADA Miami, Museum of Art, Architecture & Technology (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), Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland, Human Resources (LA), and featured in Frieze, Art in America, Vogue Italy, Huffington Post, SFMoMA, Creators Project, FlashArt, and Hyperallergic.


Kirsten Marie Walsh

Kirsten Marie Walsh
Wednesday, May 1, 7:00-8:00pm

Kirsten is an independent curator and arts administrator who believes in the power of ideas, objects and art to convey universal and personal stories. She strives to create exhibitions that are approachable, playful, transformative and educational to audiences of all kinds. Kirsten's creative endeavors aim to support curious minds through formal exhibitions, public interventions, and even, a podcast series.  Her work is driven by the core principal that curators are inherently translators. In 2015 Kirsten graduated from the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in Baltimore with an MFA in Curatorial Practice. While at MICA she was the Graduate Curatorial Fellow at The Contemporary and a Graduate Teaching Intern for MICA's Exhibition Development Seminar. A born and raised Oregonian, Kirsten received her BA in Studio Art from Willamette University. For the last decade she’s been curiously exploring the worlds of artists, architects, and designers.

Fall 2018

Tabitha Nikolai

Tabitha Nikolai
Tuesday, October 2, 7:00-8:00pm

Tabitha Nikolai is a trashgender gutter elf and low-level cybermage raised in Salt Lake City and currently based in Portland, Oregon. Her artwork manifests as text, videogames, cosplay, and earnest rites of suburban occult. She is sometimes a stray cat and an attractive nuisance who is interested in reinvention, resistance, resilience, and making pocket worlds with people she loves. In the past she has taught at the Pacific Northwest College of Art and Portland State University, but is now a recovering academic. Her work has been shown at the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art, Vox Populi in Philadelphia; and Ganka Gallery in Tokyo. She hopes you're doing okay.



Samantha Wall
Friday, November 9, 4:00-5:00pm

Samantha Wall is an artist working in Portland, Oregon. Originally from Seoul, South Korea, Wall’s images explore identity through the push and pull of cultural diaspora and human interconnectedness. Her monochromatic figure drawings feature meticulously drawn women who embody Wall’s interest in navigating multicultural experiences. Her work has been featured in both solo and group exhibitions regionally and nationally. Wall graduated with an MFA in Visual Studies in 2011 from the Pacific Northwest College of Art and she is the recipient of awards and grants from organizations including the Oregon Arts Commission; Oregon’s Regional Arts & Culture Council; The Ford Family Foundation; The Hallie Ford Foundation, and The Joan Mitchell Foundation. Most recently, she is the winner of Portland Art Museum’s 2016 Contemporary Northwest Art Awards Arlene Schnitzer Prize. Samantha’s work is included in the collections of the Portland Art Museum, the City of Portland, and numerous private collections.

Past Visiting Artists 


Kelda Martensen                              
Thursday, April 26, 2018

Anna Gray & Ryan Wilson Paulson
Friday, February 2, 2018

Tannaz Farsi
Friday, December 1, 2017
Garrick Imatani
Thursday, October 5, 2017
Lisa Jarrett
Monday, April 24, 2017
Julia Dolan
Wednesday, March 22, 2017
Juventino Aranda
Thursday, February 9, 2017
Camella D. Kim
Thursday, November 7, 2016
Ryan Pierce
Monday, October 10, 2016
Amy Thompson
Thursday, September 22, 2016
Paula Portinga Booth
Thursday, April 21, 2016
Michael Ned Holte
Wednesday, March 2, 2016
Farhad Bahram
Friday, February 5, 2016
Courtney Kessel
Thursday, November 19, 2015
Mark Verabioff
Monday, November 9, 2015
Wendy Given
Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Willamette University

Studio Art

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