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Artist Kat Chavez

Kat Chavez

Boston, MA, USA


American, b. 1996   —   Kat Chávez (she/they) is a queer Xicana and multidisciplinary artist, educator, and curator. Raised on Tongva and Chumash land (known widely as Los Angeles, California), Kat often works as a printmaker and textile artist, occasionally combining mediums to create installations. Kat’s teaching practice began at Self Help Graphics and Art, where she spent a summer supporting teaching artists during their summer youth arts program. Since then, she has worked as at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (Mass MoCA), the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) Museum, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Brooklyn Museum, supporting curators and teaching visitors of all ages (working predominantly with teen audiences). Kat also co-curates the ongoing performance and visual arts series Se Aculilló? with Benjamin Lundberg Torres Sánchez. Kat’s work has been exhibited at the Museum of Latin American Art, Long Beach, CA; the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art, San Luis Obispo, CA; New Women Space, Brooklyn, NY; AS220’s Resident Gallery, Providence, RI; the List Art Center, Providence, RI; and the David Winton Bell Gallery, Providence, RI. Kat currently lives and works on Pawtucket and Massachusett lands (known widely as Boston, MA).

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Published Collections

Split Ends

Things that were once together sometimes come apart. From one thing emerges two, and frayed edges become signs of growth over time. Tensions can cause a split, or the release of stress may invite us to become untamed. But hidden within these moments of divergence is an eagerness to move outwards, away from the expected path. The artworks in this selection actively disorganize or depart from clear definitions or structures. They extend boundaries and seek permeance, creating multiple meanings at once. Rather than understanding breakage as the end of wholeness, these artists play at the edges and find what materializes.

10/20/2022 15 items


Repetition can be meditative, or tedious. Small disruptions in a pattern can be freeing, or frustrating. New curiosities may be sparked by comparison or compilation. The artists in this collection make or disrupt patterns, causing us to look closely at details that may or may not be consistent. We are left to wonder about automation, symmetry, and disorder, while also questioning our perceptions of difference or similarity. In these patterns, we may find methods for relinquishing control or possibilities for recreated structures.

8/2/2022 15 items

Domestic Shadows

How do our domestic spaces influence our lives outside of them? How might we understand the difference between interior and exterior intimacies? Are we ever limited by our enclosures? The artists in this selection ask us to consider the ways we interact with our homes, personal objects, and the companions whom with we share our spaces. They explore transitions between inside/outside, remnants of our actions, and collective notions of place. Together, these works trace a story of both care and confusion, making space for us to imagine domesticity outside of its traditionally narrow definition.

7/2/2022 15 items

Seeping from the Archives

The artists in this selection manipulate archival methods and materials to explore gaps in our documentation practices. How can collections of objects or images reveal ways of thinking that extend beyond an individual document? How do archives reify or deconstruct historical narratives? Using maps, collected materials, found imagery, and strategies of redaction, these artists reveal cracks within or make additions to the archives they reference. Their work seeps out from the edges of cataloging systems, disrupting ideas of factual or legitimate sources. Like spilled water on the pages of a book, the artists’ work blurs and smudges what is legible, in favor of something more porous.

5/23/2022 15 items


The senses of touch and smell often go unexplored in spaces devoted to visual art. Vision dominates our experience, causing us to miss crucial information. How might artists invite us to activate these other senses? How can visual art trigger visceral responses that open up new questions? “Scratch-and-sniff” brings together a group of artists who use texture, material, nostalgia, and color to engage senses beyond the visual. Some invite synesthesia while others prompt sensations like goosebumps or chills. We are asked to reflect on our bodies and the way our full bodies respond to works of art. These artists bring a new level of awareness to the way we receive knowledge about our world.

4/20/2022 16 items

Sand in My Eyes

We often seek clarity and sharpness, yet find ourselves with blurred vision, fuzziness. Confusion ensues; we reach for our glasses or rub our eyes. But as we squint, might we find something new in this altered perception? Is there another world in this moment, a fantasy that could pique our curiosity? Artists in this collection choose to skew our vision, directing us away from what we know and towards something hidden. They invite us to question our methods of seeing and discover the ways our vision has been socially constructed. What aspects of our lives inform the way we see? Is there a productive discomfort in our inability to see clearly? How might we use our other senses to perceive what we are missing?

3/20/2022 21 items

Absence in Remnants

Absence sometimes involves unraveling, leaving behind threads, scraps, and imprints. When the dust settles, we find the documentation of absence, reminders of what once was and is no longer. Sometimes only portions go missing or become obscured, so absence is illuminated by presence. An omission may say just as much as an addition. The artists in this selection use negative space, shadows, reflections, embellishments, tracing, and other techniques to reveal remnants and remainders. Some works reveal loss and changes, while others evoke memories and questions. Amidst these absences, there are new possible futures that can be imagined or dreamed. How might we reveal the missing pieces in order to start rebuilding?

3/1/2022 21 items


The artists in this selection consider architectural forms and their impact on space and the human body. Some artists cite architectural history, while others invite new structural foundations on which we can build. How might we use existing shapes and figures to reimagine our relationship to the built environment? How might the built environment better serve our emotional needs? By shifting contexts, scales, and opacities, these artists wonder about the present, past, and future of the dwellings and boundaries we build.

2/5/2022 20 items

Sowing Seeds

The relationship between human beings and our environment ebbs and flows with time, and we continue to reevaluate this connection amidst ongoing crises and changes. But what does intimacy with the natural world look like? How might we seek space for reciprocity in order to find new paths forward? The artists in this selection invite new ways of relating to plants, animals, and natural forces of our world. They use material and visual means to suggest new forms of care with non-human life. Titled “Sowing Seeds,” this collection imagines new opportunities for tending to our ongoing growth, as it interweaves with the growth of our earthen family.

12/30/2021 18 items

Crossing Over

Where might emerging portals take us? And how will we find our way as we imagine new futures? The artists in this selection take up questions of opacity, boundaries, and illusion to test the limits of our physical and spiritual world. These works suggest new methods of connecting with the natural and supernatural elements of this realm, expanding the space of in-betweenness. As we move towards new visions of justice, change, and care, our ability to cross over - or to find pathways across the different spheres we all inhabit - becomes increasingly important.

12/2/2021 19 items


“Unfolding” brings together artists who have evoked textiles in their use of other mediums, or have used textiles to channel other kinds of objects. By exploring the effects of translation between mediums, these artists conjure a new history of clothing, quilting, labor, and adornment. They challenge us to reconsider our relationship to domestic work, the clothes we wear, and the objects we call home.

11/6/2021 18 items

New Topographies

How can we map our insides, our emotional selves, as a method for deeper understanding? What are the responsibilities and implications of mapping? The artists in this collection evoke the visual and historical legacies of mapping landscapes and tracing landforms to reveal new knowledges around our existence, and our relationships. They also explore new opportunities for connection and growth with the natural environment.

10/14/2021 11 items

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