Speakers & Visiting Artists

The Pilgrim School Visiting Artists Program is central to our dynamic and boundary-pushing arts education. Every year, Pilgrim invites a rotating group of artists to share their work and perspectives with our students. We pull from Los Angeles’s vibrant and diverse art scene to give students access to the professional art making process in an expansive array of mediums and methodologies. 

Through this program, students have learned about indigenous weaving and dying techniques while eating Oaxacan food, discovered how to integrate growing mushrooms into an artistic practice, and made art out of memes, among other experiences. In these workshops and conversations, students learn to think like artists and approach their practices in inventive and contemporary ways. 

Visiting Artists for 2021-2022

PORFIRIO GUTIERREZ

is a California-based textile artist. Natural dyes are Porfirio Gutierrez's particular passion and he has a vast store of knowledge on its provenance, usage and application. For him, cochineal and its color are still sacred and precious. His practice forms a cultural context as a direct descendant of the civilization that helped domesticate and developed this gift that influenced cultures and artistic practices throughout the world. From this perspective, Gutierrez teaches techniques to create the sacred shades of reds seen in his work and his community ceremony garments. His respect for his culture is evident in his natural dyes practice, and cochineal is at the heart of his work as an artist. 

ARYANA MINAIS

makes paper-based sculptures and wall works that are intimately linked to philosophies and histories of architecture, migration, labor, the body, and the handmade. Minais identifies paper as a material that links storytelling, tradition, and craft, centering her practice on the diasporic subject's daily lived experiences as she draws from her personal archive of decontextualized Iranian-American descent. Using bricks and stones from buildings that no longer exist, woodblocks used a generation ago to create textile patterns, and parts of vernacular decorative architecture, Minais embosses into paper from found materials in small batches. Minais envisions architecture as a living entity that continually sheds and acquires memories as bodies pass through its spaces.

SAM SHOEMAKER

is an interdisciplinary artist and mycologist based in Los Angeles, California. Sam's recent artistic work stems from an ongoing collaboration with rare, native and medicinal fungi. After receiving his MFA from Yale University in 2020, Sam founded the urban mushroom farm Myco Myco from his underground laboratory in Los Angeles. 

LAURIE STEELINK

is a multidisciplinary artist living in San Pedro, California. She received a BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute, and an MFA from Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University. For the past 20 years, Laurie has been reconnecting with her biological family and her cultural roots, and has immersed herself into becoming familiar with the Los Angeles Native community, which has had a profound and self-evaluative impact on her artistic practice. Her work references her Native identity, Native American mythology, and plant medicine healing modalities. In 2013, Steelink founded Cornelius Projects, her own project space in San Pedro, which functions as a manifestation of her art practice. As an artist and curator, she has an interest in facilitating situations that bring together diverse groups of people.

ASHLEY KIM

is a Korean-American artist specializing in graphic design, illustration, and tattooing. She is passionate about making design more equitable and accessible to underserved communities. She is inspired by nature and joyful moments in life.

KIM BAISE

is a Los Angeles-based artist and designer with a Master's degree in printmaking and sculpture from NYU. Using papier-mâché and organic and repurposed materials, her mobile constructions and figurative assemblages embody the energy of her mark making.

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