VisArts Announces New Artist Advisory Council Members

By Editorial Team on January 27, 2021

The Metropolitan Center for the Visual Arts (VisArts) is pleased to announce the newest members of its Artist Advisory Council (AAC) which is comprised of a diverse group of artists, curators, educators, and art professionals from the DMV. The AAC provides a broad arc of expertise to advise and assist the VisArts gallery staff with the development and implementation of exhibitions, residencies and gallery-related programming.


New AAC members include:

Monica Jahan Bose – a Bangladeshi-American artist, climate activist, and lawyer who has exhibited her work extensively in the U.S. and internationally. Her ongoing feminist collaborative project, Storytelling with Saris, has traveled to ten states and several countries and been featured in numerous publications and TV and radio programs. She has a B.A. in the Practice of Art (Painting) from Wesleyan University, a post-graduate Diploma in Art from Santiniketan, India, and a J.D. from Columbia Law School.

Hasan Elahi – an interdisciplinary media artist whose works focus on issues of surveillance, privacy, migration, citizenship, technology, and the challenges of borders. In 2002, Hasan was mistakenly put on a terrorist watch list and constantly surveilled because of his name and looks. As a result of his being singled out, he created an elaborate art project, Tracking Transience. He is currently Professor and Director of the School of Art at George Mason University. Elahi is a Board Member of Creative Capital, an organization providing support and resources for artists.

Edgar Endress – a Chilean-born visual artist who currently serves as a professor of new media and graduate program director at George Mason University’s School of Art. He creates content- and context-specific work that bridges the gap between art and social engagement. Endress is a founding member of Floating Lab Collective, a group of DC-based artists who orchestrate large projects to create a platform for rethinking the creative process and is a 2017-2018 College of Visual and Performing Arts Cultural Connections Artist-in-Residence. He received his M.F.A. in video art from Syracuse University.

Bei Ma – an avid photographer and artist who is also Founder and CEO of the Pinea Group, an organization that provides the cross-border strategic business development, market access, regulatory and clinical services to assist medical device, digital health, IVD, pharma, biopharma and biotech companies delivering their innovative solutions to the US and international markets. From 2016 to 2019 she served as Vice President of Global Healthcare Business Development and a key thought leader in Global Healthcare Sector for the British Standards Institution (BSI). From 2008 to 2016, she provided scientific and business development expertise in identifying and pursuing opportunities that support the public health mission and global strategy at the U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention (USP). Bei Ma currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors of VisArts.

Antonio McAfee – a photographer born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland who is currently professor at Towson University, Loyal University, Maryland Institute College of Art, and American University. He received his B.F.A. in Photography from the Corcoran College of Art and Design and an M.F.A. from the University of Pennsylvania. He received a Post-Graduate Diploma in Arts and Culture Management from the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. He is currently an Artist in Residence at VisArts and the Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C.

Kenya Miles – the artist founder of Traveling Miles, a natural dye studio. Her work primarily focuses on textile and fiber art with an emphasis on earth pigments and natural dyes. Whether quilting, dying rope, hand-painting fabric, or painting canvases, Kenya’s work and process is the culmination of years of wandering and apprenticing around the globe. From the valleys of Oaxaca, Mexico to the red clay roads of Ntonso, Ghana, her work honors ancient practices while harmoniously drawing on a distinctive contemporary voice. She is a lead gardener at the Natural Dye Initiative in Baltimore City and is currently teaching at the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Gatlinburg, TN.

Ada Pinkston – a multimedia artist, educator, and cultural organizer. Her art explores the intersection of imagined histories and sociopolitical realities on our bodies, using monoprint, performance, video, and collage. Inter-subjective exchanges are the primary substrate of her work. Over the years, her work has been featured at a variety of spaces, including The Smithsonian Arts and Industries Building, The Walters Art Museum, The Peale Museum, Transmodern Performance Festival, P.S.1, The New Museum, Light City Baltimore, and the streets of Berlin. In addition to her studio practice, she is a co-founder of the LabBodies Performance Art Laboratory in Baltimore, Maryland. She is currently a lecturer in Art Education at Towson University.

Continuing members of the Artist Advisory Council include:

  • Shannon Collis – artist, Associate Professor of Art (University of Maryland)
  • Nancy Daly – artist, founder/co-director But, Also
  • Tim Doud – artist, Professor (American University)
  • Maggie Gourlay, – artist
  • Leslie Holt – artist Co-Director – Red Dirt Studio
  • Kim Llerna – artist, Professorial Lecturer (American University)
  • Fletcher Mackey – artist, Professor (Maryland Institute College of Art)
  • Frank McCauley – Gallery Director/Curator, VisArts
  • Suan Main – artist, founder – Cultivate, Curatorial/Gallery Program Consultant, VisArts
  • Laura Roulet – Independent Curator/Writer
  • Judy Stone – artist, Faculty (Montgomery College)
  • Naoko Wowsugi – artist, Professorial Lecturer (American University)

VisArts Executive Director Alice Nappy states, “We are extremely fortunate to have such an exceptionally diverse and accomplished group of individuals providing strategic guidance and support to the VisArts Gallery Program. The AAC has been instrumental in helping VisArts expand its reach to artists across the DMV and become one of the region’s premier visual arts exhibition venues.

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