Asha Iman Veal's curatorial work advocates solidarity and collaborative dialogues between communities separated by geographic or political distance.
She is the Curatorial Fellow at the Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College Chicago, and is a Humanity in Action Landecker Democracy Fellow (EU/UK/USA). She is Assistant Professor Adj. in the Department of Arts Administration & Policy at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she proposed and developed the Being a Woman of Color in the Arts course in addition to leading several undergraduate and graduate courses in various departments.
Her recent exhibitions include: Beautiful Diaspora/You Are Not the Lesser Part at MoCP (2022); a solo show of work by artist Martine Gutierrez at MoCP (2021); New Dream Center Program 9 at Hyde Park Art Center (2021); The Tokyo Show: Black & Brown Are Beautiful at Hyde Park Art Center (2019); and Preview 9: A Boldness to Dare and Try at Chicago Artists Coalition (2019). She has been an invited juror for Arts + Public Life at The University of Chicago, and Center for the Study of Race, Politics, & Culture at The University of Chicago; Experimental Sound Studio; 3Arts; Arts Work Fund; OxBow; and ACRE. Previous work includes arts projects or research in Chicago, New York, Edinburgh, Vietnam, Juárez, Havana, Tokyo, and more; as well as being an Associate Festival Producer for playwright Eve Ensler’s V-Day global movement to end violence against women and girls (New York). Asha Iman is a member of the BMW Foundation's Responsible Leaders Network (global table) and Transatlantic Core Group (Germany/US), and is a new member of the Board of Heaven Gallery (Chicago). B.A. The Gallatin School at New York University, M.F.A. The New School, M.A. School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Literary projects and published works include: Brooklyn (the Black), 2015; The Places We’ve Been, 2013 (ed.); Apsaalooke : art and tradition, 2006 (ed.); emerge: digital journal of arts administration and policy, 2017 (ed.), etc.
As an arts professor, I focus on curatorial theory as well as how art and cultural production serve as forms of advocacy and public discourse.
Through artistic collaborations, my work advocates cross-cultural solidarity across communities that are often kept apart by geographic or political distance.
The following questions drive my practice and stay on my mind: How does curatorial practice function as a form of social and political engagement? How does curatorial practice create moments of possibility and engage the public? How can curatorial practice be used as a strategy in advocating and modeling artistic pedagogies of leadership?
Most often my projects focus on cross-cultural dialogues across global space and include personal and collective tools of eloquent disruptions to spatial imaginaries based on race.
I additionally study various contemporary projects and arts organization models.
I am a creative writer, and completed an MFA in creative nonfiction.
I studied contemporary literary and narrative practices formally for many years, seeking textual yet creative examples that deepen the understanding of contemporary multiculturalism.
Most often my own work is in memoir and/or character-driven fiction, and is very attached to place. I love collaborative publication projects and am always excited to work on something new.
My projects The Places We’ve Been (2013) and Brooklyn (the black) (2015), presented in the U.S. and U.K. and have been acquired by special collections libraries, including the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Here's a full narrative of my career history, The Illustrated Story of How I Cut My Teeth, OR a direct jump to the most recent years of my work dedicated to visual contemporary. I've spent the past 15+ years exploring the arts as a field of public discourse that's capable to reimagine and propose new frameworks.
Here's my faculty page at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where I was granted an Excellence in Teaching Award (2020),
What else? I was born and raised in Northern California, and trained there, in New York, and in Chicago.
I am passionate about engaging a multidisciplinary community of my peers within and outside the arts field. It is my strongest belief and experience that power of an arts education is fierce across settings, as a dynamic skillset for leadership.