Minerva Projects is an experiment. The fundamental objective is to support interdisciplinary artists who have expressed the desire to analyze their practice in light of historiographical, political, philosophical or spiritual frameworks. This happens in many different ways, depending on the particular needs of the artist. We aim to be responsive and nimble, a plan that is the result of ever-changing work conditions. In order to maintain our vision, we organize public events so that the project series behaves as an interface between artists, experts, and general audiences from many different backgrounds. Inspired by the artist’s practice, we draw on thinkers and writers from related but on the surface seemingly far flung fields to write for the Minerva imprint. The program is organized by conducting an in-depth, intimate, oral interview and publishing a book for each artist. These materials are made accessible to educators, artists, and the general public through one to one distribution channels to those who are curious about the ideas and lives that underpin art. The program is by invitation only.


Yasmeen Siddiqui is an editor and writer. Guiding her practice is an overarching commitment to testing perceptions of either specific artists or existing art movements through the synchronized interplay of writing and exhibition making. Siddiqui’s articles and essays are published by: Phaidon, Samsung Art Museum, Art Papers; Modern Painters, Flash Art, NKA, the Cairo Times, iniva (Institute of International Visual Arts), the Americas Society, and Storefront for Art and Architecture among others. She has received awards, including from the Ucross Foundation as a writing fellow. Her work with artists has been recognized by the New York based Independent Curators International and the Andy Warhol Foundation.


Lori Lucas’s book of poetry, Chiaroscuro, is in its 4th printing and her newest volume, Contrapposto, is in the works. She has taught literature for many years, specializing in Shakespeare Studies and Jewish American Fiction. She is a lover of language and languages. She lives in the Castle House in Boulder when she is not traveling. Lori serves on several boards including the CU Art Museum Advisory Board and the International School of Brussels Foundation Board.

Derrick Velasquez is an artist living and working in Denver, Colorado. He is co-founder of Tank Studios and founder of Yes Ma’am Projects, an artist run gallery in the basement of his house focusing on creating opportunities for artists and audiences to connect through dynamic exhibitions. Derrick also serves on the city of Denver’s Commission on Cultural Affairs and as a board member of Tilt West. His recent solo exhibitions have been at the MCA Denver, Robischon Gallery, and the Herron School of Art and Design in Indianapolis.

Theodora Doulamis is an exhibition designer at the Art Gallery of Ontario, a role she previously held at The Detroit Institute of Arts. She holds a Bachelor in Studio Art and Art History from Concordia University in Montreal as well as a Bachelor of Architecture from The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in New York. Over the last decade she has worked in the field of exhibition development and design at Storefront for Art and Architecture, The Canadian Centre for Architecture and Americas Society.

Baron Kelly is an internationally recognized critic, historian, practitioner, and scholar. In addition to his long list of acting and directing credits on Broadway, he is a four-time Fulbright Scholar. He has performed  for over thirty regional theatres in the United States including: Yale Rep; Actors Theatre of Louisville; the Guthrie; Mark Taper Forum; and the Oregon, Utah, Dallas Fort Worth, and California Shakespeare Festivals. International credits include: the Royal National Theatre of Great Britain; Stratford Shakespeare Festival; National Theatre of Norway; Yermelova Theatre in Moscow, Russia; and the Edinburgh Theatre Festival. He is a graduate of London’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and holds a Ph.D. in Theatre from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is now a professor of theatre at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Currently, he serves on the boards of the Comparative Drama Conference, Stanislavsky Institute, and the Fulbright Review Panel.

Elysia Solomon lives in Chicago, IL, where she is a healthcare lawyer and executive, leading legal teams to provide practical and solutions-focused advice to retail pharmacies, clinical service providers, and digital health developers.  Elysia also volunteers for arts, environmental, and legal aid organizations.  In addition to her Board Chair role at Minerva Projects, she currently sits on the Board of Illinois Legal Aid Online and is a Governing Member of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.  Previously, she served on the Executive Committee of the Board of the Kentucky College of Art and Design in Louisville, KY.  Elysia received both her undergraduate and law school degrees from the University of Chicago, and is on the Alumni Advisory Council for the University’s Law School.


Claire Barliant is a curator and writer based in Cambridge, MA. Claire has worked as the Curatorial Advisor at the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts Project Space in New York, associate editor of Artforum and executive editor of Modern Painters. Her writing has appeared in Triple Canopy, Time Out New York, Artforum, Bookforum, Art in America, and Icon, as well as numerous catalogues and for many years she was a regular contributor to the art section of the New Yorker’s “Goings On About Town.” She has held teaching positions, either as adjunct professor, master lecturer, or visiting critic at University of the Arts, Philadelphia, SUNY Purchase, Parsons, the New School, NYU, and Yale. Recent curatorial projects include As We Were Saying: Art and Identity in the Age of ‘Post’ at EFA Project Space, New York, NY (2014), Kool-Aid Wino at Franklin Street Works, Stamford, CT (2013), and a screening series for Dirty Looks: On Location, New York (2013).

Nicole J. Caruth, recipient of the Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant, has served as artistic director at The Union for Contemporary Art. Prior to joining the Center, Nicole held positions at McColl Center for Art + Innovation, Art21, Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, and the Brooklyn Museum. Nicole’s curatorial projects include, most recently, The Grace Jones Project at the Museum of the African Diaspora; Crossroad: A Social Sculpture by the artist Derrick Adams; and Power of People, Power of Place by Fallen Fruit Collective. Her writing has appeared in ARTnews, C Magazine, Gastronomica, Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art, Public Art Review, Walker Art Center Magazine, the Phaidon Press volumes Vitamin Green and Vitamin D2, and exhibition catalogues published by Joan Mitchell Foundation and The Studio Museum in Harlem. She is founding editor of Art21 Magazine (est. 2013), an online space for insightful writing on contemporary art and artists. In 2012, Nicole founded With Food in Mind, a nomadic nonprofit developing art-based approaches to childhood obesity and nutrition disparities in low-income neighborhoods and communities of color. Her extensive writing about food in contemporary has earned her recognition as a leading voice on the subject. She is currently collaborating with the artist Elia Alba on her book, The Supper Club.

Heba Farid is the co-founder of TINTERA in Cairo. She is a multidisciplinary artist and cultural manager based in Cairo since 2000, with a background in architecture and fine arts. Her work has been exhibited and published internationally and she has been active in institutional development and cultural research with a focus on photography as a founder of the Contemporary Image Collective (CiC), based in Cairo, an art center dedicated to the visual image, as the coordinator and initiator of the multidisciplinary art/research project about Na’ima al-Misriyya, an early 20th century performer, and as coordinator of the photographic heritage program at CULTNAT, the Center for Documentation of Cultural and Natural Heritage (Bibliotheca Alexandrina). She has participated in and published articles for several regional symposiums on archiving and photographic heritage and curated exhibitions based on the historic photograph collections. She has received several professional training in the preservation and management of photograph collections, and is a MEPPI alumni. She is currently adjunct professor of practice in photography at the Department of the Arts, American University in Cairo (AUC), and is embarking on an entrepreneurial startup venture dedicated to the preservation and activation of photograph collections and visual heritage.

Lyra Kilston is a writer, critic, and editor in Los Angeles. Her writing on art, architecture, and urbanism has been published in books, magazines and websites, and produced as documentary shorts for public television. She has worked for such institutions as the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art (Colorado), the Performa Biennial (New York), California Institute of the Arts, and the Getty Research Institute and J. Paul Getty Museum (California).

Steven Matijcio is the director and chief curator of the Blaffer Art Museum at the University of Houston. Previously he served as curator at the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati,  and the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA) in Winston-Salem, NC. Matijcio is a graduate of the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College and has held positions in a number of galleries and museums including the Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art, the Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, the Art Gallery of Ontario, and the National Gallery of Canada. Matijcio was honored in 2010 with a prestigious Tremaine Exhibition Award for the project paperless.


Minerva Projects is committed to building communities and publics dedicated to exploratory thinking, exhibition, and book making. Please reach out through email if interested in collaborating on meaningful projects. director@minervaprojects.org

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