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Lisa Jarrett, MFA, named The James DePreist Visiting Professorship in Ethnic Art
Author: S Andrews-Collier
Posted: October 24, 2013

Lisa Jarrett was born in Morristown, New Jersey. Growing up as a Black American who moved with her family to various, often conflicting political climates in cities in Texas, Minnesota, and New York, the influences of her upbringing in a post-Civil Rights and increasingly so-called “post-racial” America are apparent in her work, which seeks to confront ideas of racial difference and perceptions of racial equality.

Though conflating comparisons of self and Other within a racial context are surely not limited to the American Black Experience and can be examined in myriad global racial milieus, Jarrett’s work is typically centered upon deconstructing, defragmenting, and, in turn, reconstructing and reassembling her personal experiences as a Black woman in America into a visual expression that asks viewers to consider their own roles in present-day race relations.

Education: MFA, University of Montana-Missoula, 2009, BFA, Rochester Institute of Technology, 1999


The James DePreist Visiting Professorship in Ethnic Art was created with a lead gift from the Harold and Arlene Schnitzer CARE Foundation to help Portland State University: Further expand its curriculum and teaching of art, and attract a diverse student body in the Art Department by hiring faculty with studio-based expertise in art from generally under-represented cultures.

Since being established in 2002, the DePreist Professorship in Ethnic Art has increased appreciation for cultural and ethnic diversity in the classroom and in the community while also advancing the arts as a medium for civic engagement. As both a learning experience for Portland State University and as a bridge to higher education for minority students in Portland, the DePreist is making a difference.

Previous DePreist Visiting Professors: Isaka Shamnud-Din, Sabina Zeba Haque, and Jennifer Delos Reyes.