Jessica Baran is a Graduate Fellow pursuing an MA in modern and contemporary art. Her research interests are centered around the interplay between art, place, identity. She is the author of three poetry collections, and her art reviews and essays appear regularly in publications such as Artforum and Art in America. In 2021 she was the recipient of an Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant for short-form criticism to support critical writing about artists and exhibitions situated across the greater Midwestern region. Alongside her freelance writing, she has spent over a decade organizing exhibitions and programming at a range of independent and community-focused art spaces in St. Louis. She is also an educator who has instructed and advised graduate students in the MFA program at the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Art and taught writing in St. Louis University’s Prison Arts & Education program. Originally from Northwest Indiana, she holds a BA in visual art from Columbia University, NY and an MFA in poetry writing from Washington University in St. Louis. In the summer of 2022, she received a graduate summer research fellowship from the Center for Humanities' Divided City initiative, which supported her work on the People’s Art Center of St. Louis (1942-1965). You can find more about her work here.