Welcome to ArtxHistory--a space facilitated by institutions, historians, curators, artists, faculty and students who are committed to deliver quality scholarship that is accessible, inclusive and open. Co-facilitators are encouraged to reach us to share content or assist in the growth of this framework.
We're a growing, joyful community with plenty of work to do. Reach out if you would like to lend support.
Natalie Coletta, Creator Founder
Natalie Coletta is an art historian, artist and activist dedicated to affordable, inclusive education. She has served as a lecturer, independent curator, writer and critic throughout her career. Coletta received her BA from the University of Rhode Island (1987) and MA in art history from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, (1992), with a specialization in nineteenth and twentieth-century American art history. Prioritizing an inclusive classroom was defined early in Coletta's pedagogy through the mentorship of feminist practitioners Natalie Boymel Kampen and Wendy Wassyng Roworth. A two-year directorship at Hampden Gallery during her MA studies in Amherst was seminal in developing Coletta's theory and practice around the gallery as a critique of culture and curriculum.
As a professor at the Community College of Rhode Island (since 1998), Coletta was an early proponent of developing curriculum to decolonize historical narratives in modern and contemporary art scholarship. She has been particularly committed to designing open educational resources for students in the foundation years of their college education, believing that it is the early years of tertiary education that form the foundation of critical thinking. Rejecting the dominant language and scholarship that create a climate of elitism and exclusivity, Coletta founded ArtxHistory to serve all students and teachers, particularly in the powerful foundation years of academic study. Through ArtxHistory's portal, resources addressing challenging topics in the areas of artistic practice, history and critique of the 20th and 21st centuries are made more accessible to learners, inviting active participation in the research process.
Chris Diani, Student Fellow
Chris Diani is a filmmaker and photographer based in Providence, Rhode Island, who serves as a 2021 Student Fellow for ArtxHistory. A graduate of Seattle Film Institute’s Full Immersion Program, Chris is currently a BFA candidate in Photography with a minor in Art History at the University of Massachusetts in Dartmouth and an Associate of Fine Arts graduate of the Community College of Rhode Island.
As an advocate for sexual, gender, and racial equality, Chris has lent his skills to Seattle Pride, Gay City Health Project, Rhode Island Pride, and the Black Lives Matter movement. In his personal work, he explores queer representation through genre film and portrait photography. His first feature film, the award-winning gay zombie comedy Creatures from the Pink Lagoon, screened in over 30 cities worldwide and was released on DVD in 2007.
Valerie C. Doran, Content Advisor
Valerie C. Doran is an editor, independent curator, writer, and translator specializing in the field of Chinese contemporary art, with a special interest in Chinese contemporary art theory and cross-cultural currents.
Doran is a graduate of Wellesley College (1978), where she was a student of Chinese art historian Anne Clapp. From 1993-2003 Doran was Associate Editor and Contributing Editor, respectively, of Orientations Magazine. She has served as editorial director of a number of catalogue publications in the field of Chinese art, including China’s New Art, Post-1989 (Seattle and Hong Kong, 1993; re-issued Asia Art Archive, 2004); Three Parallel Artworlds: 100 Art Things from Modern Chinese History (Hong Kong, 2015); and sculptor and collector Richard Rosenblum’s Art of the Natural World: Wild Nature in Chinese Sculptural Art (Boston, 2000). Doran has written frequently on Asian contemporary art and is an active translator in the field of Chinese contemporary art criticism, including texts by Gao Shiming, Gao Minglu, Chang Tsong-Zung, Fei Dawei, Wu Guanzhong, Wu Shanzhuan and Gao Xingjian, among others. As an independent curator, Doran has worked since the mid-1980s with artists, public institutions, private galleries, and alternative spaces in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Mainland China, Indonesia, and Los Angeles on a range of projects and has also participated in performative projects by artists across media, including works by Kung Chi Shing, Kingsley Ng, The Box and U Theatre. Doran is currently a Fellow at the Chinese Art Media Lab (CAMLab), Harvard University.
Halima Ibrahim, Student Fellow
Halima Ibrahim, a rising student at Stanford University in the Department of Art and Art History and alum of the Community College of Rhode Island, is interested in Contemporary Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) Art. Her research in the Art of the Arab Spring is fueled by personal experience growing up in Cairo and evacuating the Egyptian Revolution of 2011. Ten years later, she uses her studies as a way to process her country’s shared trauma and contribute to a movement that she was too young to understand.
Halima is the former Rhode Island Youth Poetry Ambassador. Unafraid to tackle controversial, nuanced topics such as gun violence, chronic illness, ableism, Islamophobia, and the struggles of being biracial in America, she unapologetically speaks to audiences from twenty to seven thousand. Some of Halima’s most powerful poetry can be seen in her 2018 TEDxTalk, “When life gives you Lyme.”