MAKING NOW – Presenters

mn-corodovaAlyssa Cordova is an artist and curator with particular emphases on contemporary art, arts education, and interdisciplinary collaborations. Cordova is the Curatorial Associate at the Orange County Museum of Art, where she has worked on several large-scale exhibitions and curated several permanent collection exhibitions such as Selections: Robert Rauschenberg  (2015), We Were Here: Absence of the Figure (2016) and her current project, Forms of Identity: Women Artists in the 90s  (opening January 2017), and the upcoming OCMA 2017 Cal-Pacific Triennial. An active blogger and founding member of the artists/curators collective, Sixpack Projects, Cordova attended California State University Fullerton, where she received an M.F.A. in Exhibition Design and Museum Studies. Cordova lives in Long Beach, California, with her husband and daughter.

DSC_0220.JPGBrent Everett Dickinson is an assistant professor of art and interim director of the MFA in Visual Art program at Azusa Pacific University and has exhibited multi-media work (including writing, performance, video, film, drawing, multimedia sculptural installations, sound composition, and experimental processes) throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe. Incorporating components of Christian theology, experimental comedy, and critical theory, Dickinson’s work explores the shape-shifting, fluid overlap of these disiplines in their various dynamic contexts.  Dickinson has produced original pieces for the Chelsea Music Festival and the Cornerstone Music Festival; sculptural/sound installations for the Socrates Sculpture Park in Queens, New York, the Essl Museum in Vienna, Austria, and the Outlet Gallery in Brooklyn, New York; an exhibition intervention at the Barrington Center for the Arts at Gordon College; performative lectures at the 2015 CIVA conference and Azusa Pacific University; and an upcoming multimedia show for the HJ Miossi Gallery at Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo, California; and a soon-to-be-released short film, titled Transfiguration on Forked River Mountain.

mn-valentineChristina Valentine is adjunct faculty at Art Center College of Design and Azusa Pacific University. An independent curator and writer, Christina recently launched Horizontal A, a website on arts and culture, and is currently researching the iterations of Orientalism in contemporary art and culture.



Daniel SmithDaniel Smith is based in Clarksboro, New Jersey, and studied visual art at Rutgers University. He is the frontman for the American rock band Danielson. The group consists of various artists with whom Smith collaborates, many of whom have been family members. Smith has released nine studio records as Danielson and has recorded and produced a number of records for other artists, including Sufjan Stevens’s Seven Swans.  Danielson has performed around the U.S. and Europe.  A documentary film was made about Danielson by J. L. Aronson in 2006 titled Danielson: A Family Movie.

cellaEdward Cella established Edward Cella Art + Architecture, a Los Angeles-based contemporary gallery featuring the work of emerging and mid-career artists and significant nineteenth- and twentieth-century architects, in 2006. Nurturing its curatorial emphasis on the mutually informing disciplines of art, architecture, and design through exhibitions, public programs, publications, and research, ECAA engages audiences while investing in telling the stories of its artists. Cella studied the history of art and architecture, with an emphasis on twentieth-century architecture, at UC Santa Barbara under David Gebhard. Cella has applied this academic focus in exhibition curating, historic-preservation planning, development proposal reviews, and art collection management.

MN - EricaErica Grimm is Associate Professor and Chair of the Art + Design Department, School of the Arts, Media and Culture at Trinity Western University.  Widely exhibited, she has had over 30 solo exhibitions, and is included in private and public collections such as the Vatican Art Collection, Canada Council Art Bank, and the Richmond Art Gallery. Canada Council and SSHRC Grant holder, she was the 2002 Distinguished Nash Lecturer at the University of Regina, the first Prize recipient of the Imago National Juried Art Competition, and was honored as the Distinguished Alumnae from the University of Regina. Erica’s material practice is rooted in embodiment and she is curious about liminal, saturated, or otherwise inexplicable but ordinary experiences. Her recent sculptural installation work is fueled by environmental urgency; her visual images layer minimal planes of material, texts, maps, medical imagery, drawn fragments, projected video, and aural soundscapes, to explore how material surfaces (and sounds) unfold depth and make meaning. Her written work inquires into the epistemological implications of the process of making. Written from the vantage point of a maker of art, her Ph.D. dissertation–the Aesthetics of Attentiveness, opens with being “stopped” by a heart attack, ends with a laugh and identifies recurrent phases of aesthetic acts–the necessity of being stopped; trusting unknowing and self-emptying attentiveness through the act of making; emerging out of this liminal process with a laugh of insight having made something that surprises even the artist. The Aesthetics of Attentiveness is forthcoming from Wilfred Laurier University Press.

mn-daichendtJames Daichendt is the author of several books, including Kenny Scharf: In Absence of Myth; Shepard Fairey Inc., Artist/Professional/Vandal; Stay Up! Los Angeles Street Art; Artist-Teacher: A Philosophy for Creating and Teaching; and Artist Scholar: Reflections on Writing and Research.  An art critic and journalist for Artbound on KECT, the nation’s largest public television station, Daichendt also serves as Chief Editor for the academic journal Visual Inquiry: Learning and Teaching Art. Daichendt holds a doctorate from Columbia University and graduate degrees from Harvard and Boston universities. He serves as the Dean of the Arts and Humanities and Professor of Art History at Point Loma Nazarene University in southern California.

Brennan-LincolnJill Brennan-Lincoln teaches classes on acting and on-camera acting, and directs play productions as well as the Senior Hollywood Industry Showcase. During the last 20 years, Brennan-Lincoln has worked professionally in regional theater, Broadway, film, and television. Her theater productions include: Moon Over Buffalo (Arena Theatre and Cleveland Playhouse), The Taming of the Shrew (Alley Theatre), Breaking Legs (Jupiter Theatre), Slyfox(Bristol Riverside Theatre), A View from the Bridge (Alley Theatre),Steel Magnolias (Alley Theater), Psychopathia Sexualis (Manhattan Theatre Club), and Leaving Iowa (Laguna Playhouse). Her film and TV work includes: If These Walls Could Talk 2 (HBO), When Billy Beat Bobby (ABC), The Drew Carey Show (ABC), Judging Amy (ABC), and the recurring role of Crazy Carrie on Gilmore Girls (WB). Most recently Brennan-Lincoln played the recurring roles of Gracie Jane on Boston Legal (ABC) and Tish Atherton on Desperate Housewives(ABC). In addition, she co-founded and acted as artistic director of the Brennan/Gould Acting Studio in Los Angeles.

MN - K. AndersonKent Anderson Butler is a Los Angeles-based artist working in a variety of media including video installation, performance, and photography. He has participated in solo and group exhibitions nationally and internationally including: The International Biennial of Contemporary Art, Venezuela; Coagula Curatorial; Museum of Art and History, Lancaster; Perform Chinatown, Los Angeles; The Pasadena Museum of California Art; Fringe Exhibitions, Los Angeles; Orange County Museum of Art; Cave Gallery, Brooklyn, New York; Photo Miami; Track 16 Gallery, Santa Monica; Carl Berg Projects, West Hollywood; Art Center College of Design; and Hunter College, New York. His video work is also in the video art libraries at Pierogi Gallery in Brooklyn, New York, and Fringe Exhibitions. In January 2012, The Kellogg University Art Gallery at Cal Poly Pomona presented a diverse exhibition featuring ten years of work by Kent Anderson Butler. The exhibition, Embodied, was a selection of video works, still documentation, and photography that explored the artist’s body via mental and spiritual phenomena such as pain, pleasure, struggle, redemption, and restoration. Kent is Director of Visual Art and Professor of Art at Azusa Pacific University and teaches all levels of photography courses and New Genre Art Forms in the undergraduate program and graduate courses in the M.F.A. program.  

mn-rauJeff Rau is an artist, curator, and educator based in Long Beach, California. Rau grew up in the Chicago suburbs and received a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Valparaiso University (2000). Soon after moving to Southern California, Rau left engineering to pursue a career in the arts, earning a M.F.A. degree in Photography and a Graduate Certificate in Museum Studies from California State University, Fullerton (2011). In his studio practice, Rau employs photography and other documentary media (video and sound) in a conceptual practice of archiving, mapping, and serial performance. Rau has exhibited his work in a wide variety of group and solo shows throughout southern California. He is a founding member of the curatorial collective Sixpack Projects and has worked on exhibitions with a number of Southern California institutions including California State University, Long Beach; California State University, Fullerton; Grand Central Art Center, Santa Ana; Phantom Galleries, Los Angeles; and the Arts Council for Long Beach. Having taught photography, digital media, and gallery practices at Biola University since 2008, in 2014 Rau was appointed the Gallery Director & Public Arts Curator for the Earl & Virginia Green Art Gallery.

jenniferfrias-1Jennifer Frias is an artist working primarily with installation, photography, and social practice and is the Associate Curator and ARTSblock Educator at the Sweeney Art Gallery, University of California, Riverside, where her curatorial projects, which range from social-political topics to artistic process-based exhibitions, focus the dialogue surrounding contemporary art in California. Frias’s most recent project, Second Wave: Aesthetics of the 80s in Today’s Contemporary Art (2015-2016) was a scholarly look on the influences of the artistic styles and subject matter of the 1980s on a new generation of artists. Other exhibitions curated by Frias include RENDER: New Construction in Video Art (2012); Jesper Just: Sirens of Chrome (2011); and JEFF&GORDON: Play Against (2011). Frias is currently working on an exhibition titled The Other Side of Far. As ARTSblock Educator, Friar has organized interactive events and workshops offered during Riverside’s ArtsWalk and presented seminars on web-based education and resource accessibility for the Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California (CENIC), California School Library Association (CSLA), Computers Using Educators (CUE), and California Association of Museums (CAM). She has also led the ARTSblock’s award-winning OFF THE BLOCK Program, a summer workshop for aspiring, high school filmmakers and documentarians. A co-founder of the artists/curators collective, Sixpack Projects, Frias is also adjunct faculty at Cal State Fullerton in Exhibition Design, and a contributing columnist for KCET’s Artbound. Frias received her M.F.A. in Exhibition Design and Museum Studies at Cal State Fullerton. S

jilliannakornthapJillian Nakornthap received her M.A. in Exhibition Design from California State University, Fullerton. During that time, she and a number of colleagues formed a curatorial collective called Sixpack Projects which has curated exhibitions throughout Los Angeles and Orange County. While Nakornthap’s projects vary, her interests lie in art that investigates social issues and identity politics; in 2010, she participated in a panel discussion at the Critical Mixed Race Conference in Chicago, Illinois. Nakornthap’s exhibitions include Give & Take: The Currency of Culture; Corporeal Contours; Mini Size Me: A Monumental Critique of Today’s Handheld Society; Sopa de Gabi; and Embracing Ambiguity: Faces of the Future. Nakornthap has worked at the Community Folk Art Center, Bakersfield Museum of Art, and the Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach, California and is currently the Exhibitions and Public Programming Manager at the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design at George Washington University.

jody-hassett-sanchezJody Hassett Sanchez is president of Pointy Shoe Productions (PSP), a documentary and long-form production company that explores issues of faith and culture. Hassett Sanchez is the producer of SOLD: Fighting the New Global Slave Trade, a documentary filmed in India, Pakistan, and West Africa about people of faith on the front lines of the fight against twenty-first century slavery.


claytonJoshua Clayton is a New York-based artist and academic. His research-oriented creative practice encompasses material artifacts, ephemeral situations, and digital and analog media. Originally from Detroit, Michigan, Clayton studied art and design before moving to Tokyo in 2002, then to New York in 2005. He completed a master’s degree in interactive telecommunications and currently teaches at New York University. Joshua’s interests range from semiotics, mysticism, and epistemology to landscape, geo-location, and environmental phenomena.

lynn-aldrichLynn Aldrich is a Los Angeles-based artist who, inspired by nature and landscape, constructs art objects from purchased consumer products. Having exhibited her work widely, Aldrich’s most recent solo exhibition was held last year at the Art Affairs Gallery in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. In 2013, a survey at Pasadena’s Art Center College of Design celebrated her significant body of work. The recipient of numerous awards, Aldrich received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2014.

mn-fujimuraMakoto Fujimura is an artist, writer, and speaker who is recognized worldwide as a cultural shaper. A Presidential appointee to the National Council on the Arts from 2003-2009, Fujimura served as an international advocate for the arts, speaking with decision makers and advising governmental policies on the arts. In 2014, the American Academy of Religion named Makoto Fujimura as its 2014 Religion and the Arts award recipient.

BrunerMichael Bruner is a writer and professor of Practical Theology at Azusa Pacific University. Born and raised in the Philippines as the son of missionaries, Bruner received a B.A. in English from the University of Washington, M.Div. from Princeton Seminary, and Ph.D. in Theology (Theology and Culture emphasis) from Fuller Theological Seminary. Bruner is a resident scholar at the Huntington Library, an ordained minister in the PC(USA), and a recent recipient of a Lilly Endowment in art and theology. He lives in Pasadena with his wife Jenna and their two children, Arabelle and William.

MN - MorleyMorley is a Los Angeles-based street artist who specializes in bold, typographic posters, which he wheat-pastes onto the urban landscape. Blending humor, hope, and his unique perspective on life, Morley’s aim is to act as a friendly voice amongst the cacophony of billboard messages and corporate slogans. His work has been featured in The Los Angeles Times; The Huffington Post; LA Magazine;; LA Canvas and on networks such as ABC, CBS, Comedy Central, Discovery Channel, Amazon, and Showtime. Morley’s work is on view in galleries around the world, and he has lectured at numerous universities, the Los Angeles County Museum Of Art, and The Artisphere in Washington, D.C. His book If You’re Reading This, There’s Still Time (2014) was featured in the Verizon/AOL original docu-series Vicariously.

Fr. Rick Ganz, SJ (August 2014)Fr. Richard Ganz, S.J. is the founder and director of the Faber Institute in Portland, Oregon. He has been a member of the Jesuit Order (the Society of Jesus – Catholic) since 1973, and an ordained Priest of that Order since 1984. He has been an educator and administrator within the Jesuit educational system of schools at the high school, university, and graduate levels. He is also a Retreat Master and Spiritual Director (in the Jesuit mode of both) who has helped many thousands of people (from all denominational identities and communities) to understand better how it is that God actually works with each of them – not as God ought, but as God does. Fr. Ganz is especially recognized for his ability to help people get much better at learning how to operate cooperatively with God. He writes and publishes on biblical, spiritual, philosophical, and theological themes.

Shelly MoserShelby Moser is a philosopher, historian of art, and a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Kent at Canterbury. Her research concerns the ontology of digitally interactive works, the ethics of video games, and street art. She is editor of the philosophical journal Debates in Aesthetics (UK).



DyrnessWilliam Dyrness is Professor of Theology and Culture and a founding member of the Brehm Center for Worship Theology and the Arts at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena. His teaching and research interests include modern art and aesthetics, art in worship, global theology, and recently interfaith aesthetics. His recent work on aesthetics and worship include, Poetic Theology: God and the Poetics of Everyday Life (2011) and Senses of Devotion: Interfaith Aesthetics in Buddhist and Muslim Communities (2013) and Modern Art and the Life of a Culture: The Religious influences on Modernism, with Jonathan Anderson (2017). Along with his wife Grace, an anthropologist and consultant in development, Bill enjoys traveling and contributing to graduate programs in seminaries in Africa and Asia. Bill and Grace have three adult children, and one especially bright granddaughter.

Be Sociable, Share!