Astria Suparak is an independent curator and artist based in Oakland, California. Her cross-disciplinary projects often address urgent political issues and have been widely acclaimed for their high level concepts made accessible through a popular culture lens.
Suparak has curated exhibitions, screenings, performances, and live music events for art institutions and festivals across ten countries, including The Liverpool Biennial, MoMA PS1, Museo Rufino Tamayo, Eyebeam, The Kitchen, Carnegie Mellon, and Expo Chicago, as well as for unconventional spaces such as roller-skating rinks, ferry boats, sports bars, and rock clubs. Her current research interests include sci-fi, diasporas, food histories, and linguistics.
LONG BIO: (500 words)
Astria Suparak is an artist and curator based in Oakland, California. Her cross-disciplinary practice often addresses urgent political issues and has been widely acclaimed for its high level concepts made accessible through a popular culture lens.
She has curated exhibitions, film screenings, performances, discussions, and live music events for art institutions and festivals across ten countries, including The Liverpool Biennial, Museo Rufino Tamayo, MoMA PS1, Eyebeam, The Kitchen, Participant Inc, Internationale Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen, and Expo Chicago, as well as for unconventional spaces such as roller-skating rinks, ferry boats, sports bars, and rock clubs. Her curatorial practice has explored science, political and community activism, sports, and feminisms and gender, among other topics. Her current research interests include sci-fi, diasporas, food histories, and linguistics.
Suparak previously served as Director and Curator of Carnegie Mellon University’s Miller Gallery; The Warehouse, Syracuse University‘s first contemporary art gallery; and the Pratt Institute Film Series. Beyond a robust curatorial practice, she’s worked in every aspect of arts administration from fundraising to marketing to management. Suparak has taught in the Fine Arts and Curatorial Practice graduate programs at the California College of the Arts, and the Museum Studies Program at the University of San Francisco.
Highlighted projects include Alien She, a traveling group exhibition on the impact of the global punk feminist movement Riot Grrrl; Whatever It Takes: Steelers Fan Collections, Rituals, and Obsessions, an exhibit that reframed sports fanaticism as a significant form of cultural production; Keep It Slick: Infiltrating Capitalism with The Yes Men, the first survey of the internationally renowned culture jamming group; and the Sports issue of INCITE Journal of Experimental Media, which was accompanied by a year-long series of exhibitions, screenings, and dialogues at locations including Wexner Center for the Arts, KADIST, Gene Siskel Film Center, and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.
Described as prescient and “visually and conceptually stunning,” Suparak’s work has garnered critical praise from The New York Times, The Huffington Post, Artforum, Art In America, Rhizome, Hyperallergic, Fast Company, The Wire, San Francisco Chronicle, and LA Weekly for its innovative curatorial approaches, “savvy political consciousness,” unique contribution to local and larger cultural spheres, and ability to bridge diverse audiences.
Suparak’s creative and collaborative projects, often taking the form of publicly accessible tools, maps, and databases of subcultures and misunderstood histories, have been exhibited and performed at Artists Space (New York), ICA London, SFMOMA, Tensta Konsthall (Stockholm), Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, The Andy Warhol Museum, and published in art journal LTTR and Graffiti Women: Street Art from Five Continents. Her writing has appeared in Art21 Magazine, VICE Magazine’s Noisey, The Getty blog, Boing Boing, The Exhibitionist, Queer Threads: Crafting Identity and Community, and The Museum Is Not Enough. She edited The Yes Men Activity Book and co-produced the publication New Art/Science Affinities. Suparak has advised various art organizations and served on numerous juries, boards, and panels, including Creative Capital, the Alpert Awards, Headlands Center for the Arts, the Mike Kelley Foundation, and Brooklyn Museum.
Suparak was born in Los Angeles to Thai parents. She studied studio art and art history at Pratt Institute.