Chris E. Vargas

Chris E. Vargas

Fellow: Awarded 2020
Field of Study: Fine Arts

Competition: US & Canada

Chris E. Vargas is a video maker and interdisciplinary artist. Through humor and performance, his work explores the complex ways queer and trans people negotiate spaces for themselves within arts institutions and popular culture. Vargas is the Executive Director of MOTHA, the Museum of Transgender Hirstory & Art, a conceptual arts & hirstory institution that engages critically with existing museum practices while also highlighting the contributions of trans art to the cultural and political landscape. MOTHA has created exhibitions at ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, Henry Art Gallery, the New Museum, and the Oakland Museum of California, and Vargas is now at work on a MOTHA book project entitled “Trans Hirstory in 99 Objects.”

Vargas holds an MFA from the Department of Art Practice at UC Berkeley (2011) and a BA from the Film & Digital Media department at UC Santa Cruz (2006). In 2016, he was the recipient of a Creative Capital award in the Emerging Fields category for “Trans Hirstory in 99 Objects.” He is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Art & Art History at Western Washington University in Bellingham, WA.

Photo Credit: Greg Youmans

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