Contributing Editors

Lauren Tate Baeza: Fred and Rita Richman Curator of African Art at the High Museum of Art, Atlanta
Stephanie Bailey: writer, editor in chief of Ocula Magazine, and part of the Naked Punch editorial collective, London/Hong Kong/Athens
Re’al Christian: writer, editor, curator, and Assistant Director of Editorial Initiatives at the Vera List Center for Art and Politics at The New School, New York
Orit Gat: writer, London
Mashinka Firunts Hakopian: writer, artist, and researcher, Glendale, CA
Michael Jones McKean: artist and associate professor at VCU in the Sculpture + Extended Media Department, Richmond, VA
Humberto Moro: Deputy Director of Program at Dia Art Foundation, New York
Joey Orr: Deputy Director and Chief of Curatorial Affairs at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) Chicago, IL
Dinah Ryan: writer and independent curator, Staunton, VA
Paul Ryan: writer and artist, Staunton, VA
TK Smith: writer and curator, Philadelphia, PA

Lauren Tate Baeza is the Fred and Rita Richman Curator of African Art at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, GA, where she oversees a collection that includes impressive examples of West and Central African masks, sculpture, beadwork, paintings, and ceramics from Neolithic to modern times. She previously served as director of exhibitions at the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, where she curated the Morehouse College Martin Luther King Jr. Collection and organized numerous temporary exhibits, using the visual arts to engage social and political discourses. An advocate for the efficacy of art to address some of the world’s most challenging issues, she populated panels with artists and led the #artforequaldignity social media campaign to ensure those artists’ inclusion alongside analysts and human rights experts.

Baeza speaks, lectures, and consults at universities, nonprofit organizations, embassies, and federal departments on a range of cultural and sociopolitical topics related to Africa. She holds a Master of Arts degree in African Studies from University of California, Los Angeles, and a Bachelor of Arts in Africana Studies from California State University, Northridge. She has been featured on NPR and PBS, as well as in Associated Press News, ART PAPERS, ARTS ATL, Art Seen, and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Read Lauren’s Work Here
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Stephanie Bailey is editor in chief of Ocula Magazine, managing editor of Podium, the online journal for M+ in Hong Kong, an advisory board member of Di’van: A Journal of Accounts, and part of the Naked Punch editorial collective. She writes for ArtMonthly and Yishu Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art, and she has curated the Art Basel Hong Kong Conversations programme since 2015. Between 2012 and 2017, she was managing and senior editor of Ibraaz, a leading platform for visual culture in and around North Africa and the Middle East.

Bailey’s research centers on power relations coded into the production and exchange of culture. Her essays have appeared in Navigating the Planetary (2020); Future Imperfect: Contemporary Art Practices and Cultural Institutions in the Middle East (2016); The future is already here—it’s just not evenly distributed, 20th Biennale of Sydney catalogue (2016); Armenity, the catalogue for the Armenian Pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale (2015); Happy Hypocrite #8: FRESH HELL (2015); Hybridize or Disappear (2015); and You Are Here: Art After the Internet (2014).

Her editorial projects include “Children of Empire,” LEAP 37 (February 2016), with contributions from—among others—Walter D. Mignolo and Uzma Rizvi; “Geopolitics on the Edge,” a dossier for ART PAPERS 40.06 (November/December 2016); and “Non-Aligned Movements,” LEAP 45 (June 2017), with contributions from—among others—Mi You and Vijay Prashad.


Re’al Christian is a writer, editor, and art historian based in Queens, NY. She is the Assistant Director of Editorial Initiatives at the Vera List Center for Art and Politics at The New School. Her work explores issues related to identity, diasporas, media, and materiality. Her essays, interviews, and criticism have appeared in Art in AmericaArt in PrintBOMB Magazine, and The Brooklyn Rail, among other publications. She has written catalogue and exhibition texts for CUE Art Foundation, DC Moore Gallery, Sikkema Jenkins & Co., and Performa, and has participated in public programs with Dieu Donné, the Rubin Foundation, and Smack Mellon. She was a graduate curatorial fellow at the Hunter College Art Galleries, where she worked on the exhibitions The Black Index (2020–21) and Life as Activity: David Lamelas (2021), as well as their accompanying publications as both a contributor and an editor. Recently, she curated the exhibition The earth leaked red ochre (2022) at Miriam Gallery and edited the accompanying catalogue. Christian received her MA in Art History from Hunter College. She holds a bachelor’s degree from New York University, where she double majored in Art History and Media, Culture, and Communication.

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Orit Gat is a writer living in London. Her writing on contemporary art and digital culture has appeared in numerous magazines, including art-agenda, the Los Angeles Review of Books, World Policy Journal, ArtReview, e-flux journal, and The White Review, where she is a contributing editor. She is a winner of the Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant and is currently working on her first book, an essay titled If Anything Happens, which looks at football (soccer) as a prism through which to explore questions about immigration, nationalism, race, gender, money, love, and the possibility of belonging.

Read Orit’s Work Here

Mashinka Firunts Hakopian is an Armenian writer, artist, and researcher born in Yerevan and residing in Glendale, CA. Her research attends to cultural practices that intervene in existing sociotechnical systems and produce alternative imaginaries of the future. Her work is concentrated in media studies, feminist and queer studies, visual culture, contemporary art, and SWANA (Southwest Asia and North Africa) diaspora studies. She holds a PhD in the History of Art from the University of Pennsylvania.

In 2021, she was a visiting Professor of the Practice at Occidental College, where she co-curated the Oxy Arts exhibition “Encoding Futures: Critical Imaginaries of AI” with Meldia Yesayan. The exhibition assembled the work of artists who visualize the limits of our current algorithmic imaginaries, and envision speculative futures engineered for just outcomes.

With Avi Alpert and Danny Snelson, she makes up one-third of Research Service, a media collective that pursues performative and practice-based forms of scholarship. Their performances and projects have been presented at the Palais de Tokyo (Paris), Museum of Contemporary Art (LA), Institute of Contemporary Art (Philadelphia), Drawing Center (NY), Judson Memorial Church (NY), and in the New Museum (NY) Voice Registers Series.

Her writing and reviews have appeared in Performance Research Journal, Los Angeles Review of Books, Journal of Cinema and Media Studies, ART PAPERS, HyperallergicGeorgia Journal, and Art in America. Her individual and collaborative work has received coverage in the LA Times, Art in America, Hyperallergic, Asbarez, and Armenian Public Radio. Her book, Algorithmic Bias Training: Lectures for Intelligent Machines, is forthcoming in 2021 from X Artists’ Books.

Read Mashinka’s Work Here
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Michael Jones McKean is an artist, researcher, teacher, and geographer. McKean is an associate professor at Virginia Commonwealth University, where he has taught in the Sculpture + Extended Media Department since 2006. McKean is the recipient of numerous awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Nancy Graves Foundation Award, an Artadia Award, and a Virginia A. Groot Foundation Award. McKean has been awarded fellowships and residencies at The Core Program at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; The MacDowell Colony; The International Studio & Curatorial Program in New York; The Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center; The Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts; and the Sharpe-Walentas Studio Program in New York.

McKean’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally. Recent exhibitions include ones at Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY; Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; Parc Saint Leger Centre d’art Contemporain, Nevers, France; The Quebec Biennale, Quebec City, Canada; The Art Foundation, Athens, Greece; Inman Gallery, Houston, TX; Parisian Laundry, Montreal, Canada; Project Gentili, Prato, Italy; The Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, Winston-Salem, NC; and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX.

Read An interview with Michael Here

Humberto Moro is Deputy Director of Program at Dia Art Foundation in New York City. Previously he was Deputy Director and Senior Curator at Museo Tamayo in Mexico City, where he organized OTRXS MUNDXS a large-scale survey of artists working in the city; solo exhibitions by Ugo Rondinone and Tania Pérez Córdova, and the Possible Futures learning program. From 2016 – 22 Moro was Curator at the SCAD Museum of Art in Savannah, Georgia, where he has co-organized Frederick Douglass: Embers of Freedom, and organized solo exhibitions by Kenturah Davis, Glen Fogel, Alex Gardner, Oliver Laric, Cynthia Gutiérrez, Pia Camil, Mariana Castillo Deball, Tom Burr, Yang Fudong, FOS, AES+F, Mark Wallinger, Isaac Julien, and Anna Maria Maiolino, among others. Moro curated Other Situations, a project by Liliana Porter which included THEM, a theater play at The Kitchen, the reopening exhibition at El Museo del Barrio, and an eponymous book published by Editorial RM. Moro has previously held curatorial positions at the Park Avenue Armory in New York, EXPO Chicago, and Zona MACO and Museo Jumex in Mexico City.

He was the recipient of the 2016 Estancias Tabacalera Research Award for Latin-American Curators, Madrid, Spain, and was part of the 7th Gwangju Biennale International Curator Course, in Gwangju, South Korea. Moro holds a BFA in Painting from the Universidad de Guanajuato, Guanajuato; and a MA in Curatorial Studies from the Center for Curatorial Studies (CCS), Bard College, New York. He was part of the 2021 Center for Curatorial Leadership (CCL) cohort.

read humberto’s work here
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Joey Orr is the Deputy Director and Chief of Curatorial Affairs at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) Chicago, where he oversees the MCA’s artistic division. Previously, he served at the Mellon Curator for Research at the Spencer Museum of Art at the University of Kansas, where he directed Arts Research Integration and was affiliate faculty in Museum Studies and Visual Art. He also served as the Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Curatorial Fellow at the MCA Chicago, where his major project aligned three exhibitions around artistic research. Recent writing has been published in ART PAPERSArt Journal OpenBOMBHyperallergicJournal for Artistic Research (Network Reflections), and Sculpture. Juried writing has been published by Antennae: Journal of Nature and Visual CultureArt & the Public SphereCapacious: Journal for Emerging Affect InquiryImages: Journal of Jewish Art and Visual CultureJournal of American StudiesPARSEQED: A Journal in GLBTQ WorldmakingVisual Methodologies, and a chapter in the volume Rhetoric, Social Value, and the Arts (2017). His recent book, A Sourcebook of Performance Labor was released in paperback in 2024. He holds an MA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a PhD from Emory University. An Atlanta native, Orr founded the public art program ShedSpace (2000–2004), worked with the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia (MOCA GA) during its early years, and is a founding member of the idea collective John Q.

read Joey’s work here

Dinah Ryan’s multidisciplinary practice includes fiction and poetry writing, contemporary art writing, and independent curation. A contributing editor for ART PAPERS since 1992, she has published essays and reviews about contemporary visual art and culture in ART PAPERS, Sculpture, and other periodicals. Professor of English at Principia College, she developed and directs the track in Creative Writing in the English major. She teaches poetry and fiction writing, critical theory, and modernist and contemporary literature. In 2014 she inaugurated Principia College’s online literary journal, Mistake House Magazine, and continues to serve as program director for the publication. With artist Paul Ryan, she directs study abroad programs in Prague and the Czech Republic, focusing on 20th century and contemporary Czech literature and visual art.

Ryan has taught in the MFA program in the Department of Painting and Printmaking at Virginia Commonwealth University; as an artist-teacher in the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA program; in the English and Art departments at Mary Baldwin University; and at Washington and Lee University, where she was director of Staniar Gallery. A visiting critic at such institutions as the Southwest School of Art and Craft, SUNY-Fredonia, and the University of Virginia, she has also been a fiction fellow four times at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. She lives in Virginia and Illinois. She holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of Virginia.

read Dinah’s work here
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Paul Ryan is a painter and art writer based in Virginia and southern Illinois. He is professor of art and chair of the Department of Art + Art History at Principia College and professor emeritus of art at Mary Baldwin University. He also taught critical theory for 11 years in the MFA program of the Department of Painting and Printmaking at Virginia Commonwealth University. At Mary Baldwin University he directed the university’s Hunt Gallery, and at Principia he co-curates the James K. Schmidt Gallery. With writer Dinah Ryan, he leads study abroad programs in Prague and the Czech Republic, focusing on 20th-century and contemporary Czech literature and visual art. Ryan has been a contributing editor for ART PAPERS since 1990, and since 1989 his writing has appeared in such publications as ART PAPERS, Sculpture, ArtLies, and Art in America.  His drawings and paintings have been widely exhibited in solo and group exhibitions. He is represented by Reynolds Gallery in Richmond, VA, and his work is in numerous public, corporate, and private collections. Ryan is the recipient of two Virginia Museum of Fine Arts professional fellowships in painting, one in 2009–2010 and another in 2016–2017.

Read Paul’s work here

TK Smith is an independent curator and writer. He formerly served as the Assistant Curator: Art of the African Diaspora at the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia. His curatorial projects include Roland Ayers: Calligraphy of Dreams at the Woodmere Museum of Art, the 2021 Atlanta Biennial exhibition Virtual Remains at the Atlanta Contemporary, and Zipporah Camille Thompson: Looming Chaos at the Zuckerman Museum of Art.

Smith’s writing has been published in Art in America, the Brooklyn Rail, and ART PAPERS, where he is a contributing editor. In 2021, he was the inaugural writer-in-residence at the Vashon Artist Residency. In 2022, he was a recipient of an Andy Warhol Writers Grant. He is currently the 2022-2023 Monument Lab writer-in-residence.

As a public scholar, Smith teaches museum workshops and has lectured for several institutions including the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, North Hampton Community College, St. Olaf College, Saint Louis University, and the Barnes Foundation. As a current visiting lecturer at Cornell University, where he teaches courses on cultural criticism for the Architecture Art Planning Program.

Currently, Smith is a doctoral candidate in the History of American Civilization program at the University of Delaware, where he researches art, material culture, and the built environment. He received his Master of Arts in American Studies and his Bachelor of Arts in English and African American Studies, with a certificate in Creative Writing from Saint Louis University.

read TK’s work here
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