Chi Essary - Bio & CV

Chi Essary is an artist, writer and photographer who promotes and explores the interaction of artists, scientists and the public.  She studied printmaking and photography at Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland, Oregon and has an active practice in oil painting and found objects. In 2017 she curated Extra-Ordinary Collusion, pairing almost 50 scientists and artists for a massive cross-discipline exhibition encouraging further exchange is San Diego’s rich artistic and scientific communities. A board member of Vanguard Culture since 2014, she also follows the San Diego creative community with her blog Poetic License: Artist Studio Visits, in which she visits and photographs local artists and writes about their creative process.


Curriculum Vitae 


Pacific Northwest College of Art,Portland, Oregon 1993-1995

Portland Community College, Portland, Oregon 1997-1998

Portland State University, Portland, Oregon 2000-2001

Mesa Community College, San Diego, California – Various courses


Professional Service

2019-               Exhibitions & Collections Committee, Oceanside Museum of Art, Oceanside, CA

2016-               Blog writer and photographer, Poetic License: Artist Studio Visits, Vanguard Culture, San Diego

2015-               Social Media Manager, Vanguard Culture, San Diego, CA

2014-               Board Member, Vanguard Culture, San Diego, CA

2002-2005       Admin. Assistant, Rodriguez Design Associates, San Diego, CA  

2000-2001       Master printmaker Apprentice, Mahaffey Fine Art, Portland, OR 

1999-2001       Artist Relations, Photographic Image Gallery, Portland, OR                       


Curatorial Experience

2020  Illumination: 21st Interactions with Art + Science + Technology, San Diego Art Institute, San Diego, CA

            Matched 16 artists and 16 scientists from seven science institutions

2019   Xquisite Corpse, Bread & Salt, San Diego, CA

            Paired and facilitated 20 artists and writers to play a game of telephone 

2018   Textura, Becky Guttin Solo Show, VC Headquarters Gallery, San Diego, CA

2017    Extra-Ordinary Collusion, San Diego Art Institute, San Diego, CA

             Selected and paired 25 artists with 22 Salk Institute Scientists, coordinated their first meeting, artist

              liaison between scientists and SDAI, studio visits, social media photos 

Upcoming Curated shows: 

2021   Trifecta: Art, Science, Patron, La Jolla Historic Society, La Jolla, CA

              Local artists informed by world-class scientists whose chairs were endowed through the Jacob's

              Chair Challenge and local philanthropists 


Seth Combs, "San Diego Art Prize winners stand together" San Diego Union-Tribune, Sept. 28th, 2020

Also online:

Nina Garin, "Meet artist and curator Chi Essary" Pacific Magazine, March 2020. page 46-47

Also online:

Julia Dixon Evans, "Illuminating The Intersection Of Art, Science And Technology", KPBS, Feb. 4, 2020

Martina Schimitschek, "'Illumination' Sheds Light on Research", San Diego Union Tribune, Night & Day section,

Feb. 13, 2020, Also online Feb. 7, 2020:

Chris Jennewein, "New 'Illumination' Show at San Diego Art Institute Pairs Science with Art",

Times of San Diego, Feb. 7, 2020

Lonnie Hewitt, "Art, science and technology converge in San Diego Art Institute's 'Illumination' exhibit",

Del Mar Times, Feb 19, 2020

Also online:

Kinsee Morlan, “Culture Report: Salk Scientists’ Latest Experiment Is 

            Collaborating with Artists”, Voice of San Diego, May 16, 2017


Ramin Skibba, “The Force of Fields”, San Diego Home & Garden, Vol. 38,

             Number 10, June 2017, p. 96-98

Lonnie Hewitt, “In an ‘Extra-Ordinary Collusion’ Art/Science join forces for 

            exhibit in Balboa Park”, La Jolla Light, June 15, 2017



Artist Exhibitions


2018    -CNote, San Diego Art Institute, San Diego, CA

2018    -Nexus, Bread & Salt, San Diego, CA

2017    -Snap to Grid, L.A. Center for Digital Art, Los Angeles, CA

2016    -Celebrating the Art in Archaeology, Barracks 26, San Diego, CA

              -Re-Make, Expressive Arts Studio, San Diego, CA

              -Play to Create, The Front, San Diego, CA

2015    -No Obvious Parts, Viz Cult art show, San Diego, CA

              -Taxidermy, good: a gallery, Portland, OR

Contact Me


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