visual arts program

Hallie Ford Fellow in the Visual Arts 2023

Lisa Jarrett


Lisa Jarrett, (left to right) "Migration Studies (No. 38, 'Ghost hair nestled in streamers across the strings.' -C.D. Wright)," 2022. Spetra 26" hair, acrylic, Kozo Paper, plexi base, 7 x 61.5 x 59 inches; "Migration Studies (Beauty Supply) No. 55-91 [detail]," 2022. Pigment print on matte paper, 49 x 36 inches

Lisa Jarrett is a visual and social practice artist and educator in Portland, Oregon.

“I exist and make work within the African Diaspora, where the desires and limitations of representation are contentious sites,” says Lisa Jarrett. Her work, in a variety of processes and mediums, often uses hair and everyday objects associated with the industry and practices surrounding hair in contemporary Black identity and culture.  In 2014, she co-founded Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. School Museum of Contemporary Art (KSMoCA). The program connects public school students with internationally renowned contemporary artists through collaborative workshops, exhibitions, lectures and artwork commissions. Students learn through experience about careers in the arts by participating in a myriad of professional roles from curator to preparator, artist, gallerist, writer and more.

Says Jarrett: “Over the past 10 years my practice has evolved to include new materials/approaches to representation. It has also grown to include community-based artworks that reflect the same focus as my studio practice by connecting BIPOC youth to contemporary art. The interdependent nature of these distinct methods of making is perhaps the most exciting intersection of my work today.”

Jarrett holds a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Montana, School of Art, Missoula, MT, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), Rochester, NY. Recent exhibitions include Russo Lee Gallery, Portland, OR; Wa Na Wari, Seattle, WA; Oregon Contemporary, Portland, OR, and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, CA.  She was a 2022 Joan Mitchell Center Artist in Residence, New Orleans, LA, and currently serves as Associate Professor of Community and Context Arts at Portland State University’s School of Art and Design.