Ari Richter was born in Tampa, FL in 1983. He received a 100% debt-free, public education, including a BFA from Florida State University and a MFA from UNC Greensboro. His sculptures, drawings, videos and performances have been presented at BHQFU (New York, NY), Flux Factory (Queens, NY), CentralTrak (Dallas, TX), ATHICA (Athens, GA), Celebrate Brooklyn! (Brooklyn, NY), Nexus Gallery (Philadelphia, PA), MOCAtv (Los Angeles, CA) and The Weatherspoon Art Museum (Greensboro, NC). He has attended artist residencies at the Vermont Studio Center and the University of Texas at Dallas, and he presented at The Way of All Flesh conference at the CUNY Graduate Center.
Ari Richter is an Associate Professor of Art at LaGuardia Community College in The City University of New York. He lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.
I went to grad school in North Carolina, lived for a couple years in the Blue Ridge Mountains, and eventually landed in New York City during the worst of the economic collapse. Building upon some prior teaching experience, I created a hybrid-online Intro to Art course, and scored adjunct work at LaGuardia Community College, CUNY. They hired me for a tenure-track appointment at LaGuardia in 2012, where I remain to this day.
I regularly exhibit, perform and screen my work, both locally and nationally. Recent presentations include a screening of my comedic film series “Ari Pitches Shit” at BHQFU, and “Farewell to the Flesh,” an exhibition of drawings made from my own skin at the CUNY Graduate Center. The latter was part of The Way of All Flesh, an academic conference co-organized by the CUNY English Students Association and The Morbid Anatomy Museum.
Oh, and one time I met Michelle and Barack Obama, and the president pointed to my LaGuardia lapel pin and said, “You guys do great work.”
My time at FSU left an indelible mark on my life as an artist and an academic. As a student in the BFA program, I was given seemingly endless freedom to pursue my creative interests. Many of my fondest memories involved late nights and lazy afternoons at the old undergraduate studio warehouse in Railroad Square. We made art, collaborated on exhibitions and got into other forms of extracurricular trouble. There was a sense of community and a group-sourced curiosity that I have sought to replicate ever since.
Most importantly, I believe in the transformative power of public education to level out social and economic inequality in our country. I received one, myself, from grade school through grad school. I try to channel these values into my teaching work, as well as through an advocacy for other free and non-traditional models of learning.
Treat your dumbest ideas the most seriously. Seriously.