Queer Materials Lab

At the Tyler School of Art and Architecture's Queer Materials Lab, we provide a space, an archive, a workshop, a research site and an-ever evolving collection of materials through which queer, transgender, gender non-conforming and non-binary identifying people may examine and engage with the idea that materials can be "queer" either through their location, their history, their tactile qualities or their maker.

We are interested in challenging the ideas of what a material can be if it is only something that we can hold or if something immaterial, like a voice, could be queer. By looking at the history of the word "queer" we may be able to locate intersections of its definitions bizarre, outlandish, unconventional, unexpected, remarkable, offbeat, artificial and baffling.

At the Lab, we collect materials as well as provide space for scholars, artists, writers, musicians, poets and dancers to make new work and or engage with our collection. We provide a site for student research and invite classes to think about the questions surrounding materiality and queerness.

We aim to bring in visiting folx-in-residence to inhabit the space, as well as to offer lectures, workshops and classes. We are committed to thinking about education and learning that center queer ways of approaching learning that are inclusive and forefront access.

Below, you can explore some of the Lab's previous visiting folx-in-residence.


  • Keenan Bennett, Resident Artist

    Keenan Bennett (he/they) is an interdisciplinary artist based in Philadelphia. They have exhibited in numerous galleries in Philadelphia, New York and Los Angeles, among others. Their participatory performance project "Service Art" was awarded the FIGMENT First Night grant twice. They founded with Kirsten Gill the Incubation Series at University of Pennsylvania; received the Susan B. Coslett Travelling Fellowship; and served on the Arts Committee at the William Way LGBT Community Center. They have served as an artist-in-resident both nationally and internationally.

  • Katie Kaplan, Resident Artist

    Katie Kaplan is a visual artist born in Pittsburgh, currently living and working in Philadelphia. In her multi-disciplinary practice, she has a focus on exploring printmaking at the intersection of sculpture, fiber arts, installation and video. She has shown work nationally in solo and group exhibitions at galleries, community spaces and print shops. She is a professional teaching artist and community artist—work that is intrinsic to her practice as a whole. She completed the Post-Graduate Apprentice Training Program at the Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia, as well as received numerous fellowships.

  • Kat Richards, Resident Artist

    Kat Richards (MFA '19) is a Philadelphia-based artist that works in printmaking, drawing and fibers. They have exhibited nationally in locations that include New York, Philadelphia, Seattle and Kansas City, among other locations. Previously, they were a visiting artist at the University of Kansas and Kansas City Art Institute. They have taught several workshops at institutions and galleries including Women Studio Workshop and Hales Project Gallery. They were a fellowship recipient and resident at the Anderson Ranch Art Center. Before receiving their MFA from Tyler, they earned a BFA from the University of Kansas.

  • Chantal Vorobei Thieves, Resident Artist

    Chantal Vorobei Thieves creates to both understand what is to be & to stay alive. She writes of spies & prophets, Y2K conspiracies & the relationship between abstraction, perception & interoception, using her work as a question mark meant to disturb what we say we know about what we are. Titles of recent works: Memory, Vein & What Would James Baldwin Do? Resident at the Queer Materials Lab, Translab, Performance Intensive, & Session 9 of the Raw Materials Academie at ICA. She’s starting a church devoted to the worship & study of art called The Church of the Quarter-Closed Eyes.

  • Michèle Pearson Clarke, Visiting Artist

    Michèle Pearson Clarke is a Trinidad-born artist, writer and educator who works in photography, film, video and installation. Based in Toronto, her work has been included in exhibitions and screenings across Canada and internationally. Clarke is the recipient of the Toronto Friends of the Visual Arts 2019 Finalist Artist Prize, a 2018 TEDxPortofSpain speaker and the inaugural 2020-2021 artist-in-residence at the University of Toronto’s Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies. She is currently the Photo Laureate for the City of Toronto (2019-2022). She earned an MSW from the University of Toronto and an MFA from Ryerson University.

  • Photo credit: Wiafe Mensah-Bonsu

    Theodore Kerr, Visiting Artist

    Canadian-born Theodore Kerr is a Brooklyn-based writer, organizer and artist whose work focuses on HIV/AIDS, community and culture. His writing has appeared in Women's Studies Quarterly, The New Inquiry, BOMB, CBC (Canada), Lambda Literary, POZ Magazine, The Advocate, Cineaste, The St. Louis American, IndieWire, HyperAllergic, and other publications. In 2016, he won the Best Journalism award from POZ Magazine for his HyperAllergic article on race, HIV and art. Kerr earned his MA from Union Theological Seminary and his BA from the New School.

  • Faythe Levine, Visiting Artist

    Faythe Levine is the director of the Arts/Industry Program at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center where she is responsible for the development and administration of the residency hosted at Kohler Co. and curating related exhibitions at the Arts Center in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. Her ongoing priority is creating programming that is approachable and accessible to a large audience, advocating for creativity as a vehicle towards personal independence and empowerment.

  • Jenni Sorkin, Visiting Artist

    Jenni Sorkin is associate professor of history of art and architecture at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She writes on the intersections between gender, material culture and contemporary art, working primarily on women artists and underrepresented media. Her publications include Live Form: Women, Ceramics and Community, Revolution in the Making: Abstract Sculpture by Women Artists, 1947–2016, and numerous essays in journals and exhibition catalogs. She was educated at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Bard College, and received her PhD from Yale University. She is a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Modern Craft.