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 and art historian, New York
Orit Gat: writer, London
Michael Jones McKean: artist and associate professor at VCU in the Sculpture + Extended Media Department, Richmond, VA
Humberto Moro: deputy director and senior curator at Museo Tamayo, Mexico City; adjunct curator, SCAD Museum of Art, Savannah, GA
Joey Orr: Andrew W. Mellon Curator for Research at the Spencer Museum of Art at the University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS
Dinah Ryan: writer and independent curator, Staunton, VA
Paul Ryan: writer and artist, Staunton, VA
TK Smith: writer and independent 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
A woman in a dark blue blouse stands against a flowering bush. There is a slight smile on her face.
A woman wearing all blue sits on a bench, with a nature scene behind her. Her hair is swept to one side and her hands are placed comfortably between her legs.

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 and art historian based in Queens, NY. Her work has appeared in Art in AmericaART PAPERS, Art in PrintBOMB, and The Brooklyn Rail. She has contributed texts to recent publications by CUE Art Foundation and Sikkema Jenkins & Co., and has moderated and participated in public programs with Dieu Donné Papermill and the Rubin Foundation. As a curatorial fellow at the Hunter College Art Galleries, she is involved with two upcoming exhibitions, Life as Activity: David Lamelas (fall 2021) and The Black Index (winter 2022); she contributed essays to each of the exhibitions’ catalogues. She is completing her MA in art history at Hunter College, where her research focuses on issues of land use, postcolonial identity, and media in Latin America.

A woman wearing a blouse stands against a white wall. She is smiling.
A woman stands in front of a white backdrop. She wears glasses and a striped blouse.

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

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
A photograph of a man positioned comfortably in front of a white wall. He wears a black hoodie and has a content expression.
A man stands outside, in front of a textured, white background. He gazes at the camera and squints slightly from the bright sunlight.

Humberto Moro is deputy director and senior curator at Museo Tamayo in Mexico City, where he recently organized OTRXS MUNDXS, a large-scale survey of artists working in the city; curator of the 2022 Exposure section at EXPO CHICAGO; and, since 2016, adjunct curator at the SCAD Museum of Art in Savannah, GA, where he 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 that included: THEM, a theater play at The Kitchen; the reopening exhibition at El Museo del Barrio; and a forthcoming publication. Moro previously held curatorial positions at the Park Avenue Armory in New York and Museo Jumex in Mexico City.

Moro 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; and an MA in curatorial studies from the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College. He is part of the 2021 Center for Curatorial Leadership cohort.

read humberto’s work here

Joey Orr is the Andrew W. Mellon Curator for Research at the Spencer Museum of Art at the University of Kansas, where he directs the Integrated Arts Research Initiative and is affiliate faculty in Museum Studies and Visual Art. He previously served as the Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Curatorial Fellow at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, where his major project aligned three exhibitions around artistic research. Recent writing has been published in ART PAPERS, Art Journal Open, BOMB, Hyperallergic, Journal for Artistic Research (Network Reflections), and Sculpture. Juried writing has been published by Antennae: Journal of Nature and Visual Culture, Art & the Public Sphere, Capacious: Journal for Emerging Affect Inquiry, Images: Journal of Jewish Art and Visual Culture, Journal of American Studies, PARSE, QED: A Journal in GLBTQ Worldmaking, Visual Methodologies, and a chapter in the volume Rhetoric, Social Value, and the Arts (2017). 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
A man wearing a button-up and rectangular glasses appears in front of window panels, gazing at the camera.
A woman wearing a winter jacket stands outside, smiling.

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

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
A closely cropped photograph displays a man with glasses. He is wearing a button-up, leather jacket, and round glasses. He appears content.
A straight-on photograph of a man in a white henley. He looks slightly upwards at the camera.

TK Smith is a Philadelphia-based writer, curator, and cultural historian. Smith engages contemporary art through the interdisciplinary lens of critical writing to complicate and subvert the traditions of American art history and visual culture. He co-edited and contributed to the Fall/Winter 2020 issue of ART PAPERS, with Editor and Artistic Director Sarah Higgins. He has written catalogue essays for several artists, most recently for New Orleans-based photographers Chandra McCormick and Keith Calhoun. His writing has been published in BurnawayARTS ATL, and ART PAPERS. Most recently, Smith published an open letter in the Monument Lab Bulletin that interrogates the relationship between power and representation through Meredith Bergmann’s Women’s Rights Pioneers Monument.

Smith is curator of Roland Ayers: Calligraphy of Dreams, which opens July 10, 2021, at the Woodmere Art Museum in Philadelphia, PA. He is a co-curator—with New Orleans-based curator Jordan Amirkhani—of the 2021 Atlanta Biennial at Atlanta Contemporary Art Center. As an inaugural Tina Dunkley Fellow, he curated the 2020 exhibition Looming Chaos at the Zuckerman Museum of Art in Kennesaw, GA. He has lectured at such institutions as the Barnes Foundation and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia, PA. Smith is a PhD student in History of American Civilization at the University of Delaware, where he researches art, material culture, and the built environment. He received his MA in American studies and his BA in English and African American studies from Saint Louis University.

read TK’s work here