Livia Alexander is a curator, writer, and Chair of the Department of Art and Design at Montclair State University. Her work is focused on examining the relationship between art infrastructure and artistic production, urbanity, cultural politics of food and art, and contemporary art from the Middle East and Southeast Asia.
Her numerous art and film programs, exhibitions and events, include: Embedded, Embedding: Artist Residencies, Urban Placemaking and Social Practice (commissioned by Residency Unlimited, in collaboration with The New School/Parsons, NYC); Customs Made: Quotidian Rituals and Everyday Practices (Maraya Arts Cenre, Sharjah, UAE); Mapping Subjectivity: Experimentation in Arab Cinema (MoMA, New York; Abu Dhabi Film Festival, Tate Modern, London); and CinemaEast Film Series. Alexander is co-producer of the research-based interactive documentary, Jerusalem, We Are Here(Canada/Palestine/Israel, 2016), directed by Dorit Naaman.
Her award-winning scholarly writing has appeared in the Journal of Visual Anthropology, Framework, MERIP, and as book chapters and catalog essays. She regularly contributes to Hyeprallergic and Harpers Bazaar Art Arabia and founded the online publication ArteEast Quarterly. She is the editor of a year-long series commissioned by the online platform www.ArtsEveryehere.com centered on artist residencies at the nexus of urban placemaking and social practice.
Alexander served as an advisor to a variety of art organizations and galleries, including Tirana Open, Residency Unlimited, Sapar Contemporary, Al Riwaq Art Space, New Rochelle BID, Asian Contemporary Art Week, and the Art & Patronage Summit. She is the co-founder of ArteEast, a non-profit organization established in 2003 to support and promote artists from the Middle East, North Africa and its diasporas, which she directed until 2013.
Dr. Alexander holds a Ph.D. from New York University in Cinema and Middle East Studies and teaches art criticism and theory, visual culture and professional practice at Montclair State University.
Lena Diab is an art collector and currently runs My Pick LLC, a New York-based company that identifies and promotes emerging labels in the ready-to-wear and fashion accessories space. Born and raised in Nazareth, Lena is a graduate of Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Lena moved to the United States in 1994 and has lived in Washington, London and York City where she currently lives with her husband, Salah Saabneh, and her two children, Amir and Yara. Lena is an art enthusiast and collects art from around the world.