The UIC SCHOOL OF ART & ART HISTORY is committed to the health and wellness of our students, faculty, and staff. We are working hard to create a stigma free environment that promotes a culture that ends stigma around mental health conditions and promotes support, awareness, and empathy.

Each semester the UIC SCHOOL OF ART & ART HISTORY will offer a series of interventions, workshops, and events that focus on what we are calling Critical Care.

THIS INITIATIVE encompasses addressing mental health community building, and creating and maintaining a balanced lifestyle. Holding the space in our creative practices to maintain our personal well-being, give into public exuberance, maintain relationships, face our emotions head on, and build community is what makes it possible for us to continue to do the important work of artists and scholars in the 21st century. 

Portland Art Museum

From 2008-14 I worked with the Education Department of the Portland Art Museum on an ongoing series of programs and events related to Shine a Light. Shine a Light is a collaboration that we developed with the Education Department and the Education Committee of the Portland Art Museum in 2009 that connects socially engaged art to museum publics to create a space in which to rethink what could happen in a museum. Centered around an annual one night event that hosts over twenty artists creating site-specific work for the museum, I have worked with the museum to create ways for the spirit of Shine a Light to be an ongoing presence in the museum through a residency program, a class that was offered jointly through the museum and PSU, and ongoing artist projects that happen throughout the year.

Shine a Light is an event that succeeds in working with new publics and developing new audiences. The one night event draws between 2,000–3,000 visitors to the museum each year. This year I expanded my role in Shine a Light and took a staff position at the museum focused on folding art and public engagement strategies into the everyday fabric of the museum, and creating the frameworks for this to happen in conjunction with museum staff.

What follows are examples of some of the structures, projects, and events I worked on.

Talking About Museums in Public

Talking About Museums in Public was organized by Jen Delos Reyes and brought together a group of Portland artists to encourage public conversation and thinking about the role of museums in people’s lives in the 21st century. Projects will took place in the month of June throughout the city and at the Portland Art Museum. Participating Artists include Erin Charpentier, Michael Horwitz, Ariana Jacob, Laurel Kurtz, Travis Neel, Sandy Sampson, and Travis Souza.

From June 6–13, 2014 Trimet riders could bring in their ticket, or monthly and annual pass to the Portland Art Museum and receive one free admission. This free access to the museum was inspired by a partnership from 1976–77 where the Museum worked with Trimet to organize a museum month. Anyone who bought a monthly Trimet pass got a free admission ticket to the museum. Download PDF Catalogue

Shine a Light: A Night at the Museum Catalogue

Cover image: Ariana Jacob
Editors: Jen Delos Reyes & Lisa Ciccarello

Design/Layout: Matt Livengood
Edition of 1500

Download PDF here.

Short Verses in Small Spaces

“Short Verses in Small Spaces,” were micro-readings set in small spaces in the Portland Art Museum perfect for a short reading with a intimate audience. These readings and the locations selected reflect what poet Lisa Ciccarello describes as the New Intimacy poetry movement.

Poets Sarah Bartlett, Lisa Ciccarello, Matthew Dickman, Donald Dunbar, James Gendron, Emily Kendal Frey, and Rodney Koeneke each gave poetry readings in the sometimes overlooked spaces of the Portland Art Museum, such as storage closets, in-between spaces, and more.


What is the effect when artworks are perfectly visually combined in a space? When it is the right combination, does it look like a perfect harmony sounds? In Polyphony Jen Delos Reyes selects a set of short vocal harmonies inspired by The Beach Boys to pair with four of the sculptures in the Portland Art Museum’s contemporary and modern collection. Each sculpture is literally given its own voice that it contributes to a four-part harmony. The effect when standing in the sculpture court is like being surrounded by a group of harmonizing singers.

Background Music Audio Tour

In this original audio guide created for the Portland Art Museum, Artist Jen Delos Reyes and Musician Daniel Osborne pair musical selections with a sampling of work from the museums permanent collection. These songs not only operate as background music for the pieces, but were chosen because of the additional information the songs provide the artwork. Pick up one of the museums iPod Touches to take this tour and receive the accompanying zine describing the musical pairings. Download Tour Zine PDF

The Berlin Office Website

While doing a residency at The Berlin Office I realized that they did not have a website, so I decided I would make one for them. Visit The Berlin Office.