Kari Orvik is a photo-based artist and educator. Through...

Kari Orvik is a photo-based artist and educator. Through film and found materials, her work is often site-specific, and engages ideas of presence and absence, exploring what we hold onto, what we let go of, and where we place value. She has shown her work at the Oakland Museum of California, the Berkeley Art Museum, the SFO Museum, the Petersen Museum in LA, and SF Camerawork. A graduate of Stanford University and UC Berkeley, she has held residencies at Recology SF (the dump), the Headlands Center for the Arts and Rayko Photo Center. She has taught photography at Stanford University, San Francisco Art Institute, City College of SF, and UC Berkeley, and operates a portrait studio in San Francisco's Outer Mission.

Born in Kingston, Ontario, Canada

University of California Berkeley, MFA, Art Practice
Stanford University B.A., Comparative Literature

2022 Kala Art Institute - Artist-in-Residence
2018 Recology SF – Artist-in-Residence
2015 Rayko Photo Center - Artist-in-Residence Program
2012/2013 Graduate Fellowship: Headlands Center for the Arts
2011 Murphy/Cadogan Award: SF Foundation
Roselyn Schneider Eisner Prize: Art Practice Department award, UC Berkeley
2007 Individual Artist Grant: San Francisco Arts Commission, “Mission Portrait Studio”


Xican–a.o.x. Body, Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art & Culture, exhibition and catalog, Riverside, CA
Geneva billboard, grant through Youth Art Exchange
SFMOMA small press & art book fair, SF

Exercises for moving in between, Salesforce Tower top video installation, San Francisco, CA
All of Us, All of Us, curated by Roula Seikaly, Berkeley Art Center, Berkeley, CA
Power On: Southern Exposure art auction
Geneva (solo), SFO Museum, San Francisco International Airport Museum
Right Window Gallery, San Francisco, CA

Watts On, curated by Rabbit Garcia, Swim Gallery, San Francisco CA
Similarities & Differences, curated by Jonathan Carver Moore, Proper Hotel, San Francisco
Reclaimed: The Art of Recology, Bedford Gallery, Walnut Creek, CA
The Roof Is On Fire, Benefit Auction, SF Camerawork, San Francisco, CA

Oslo Fotobok Festival - "The Climate Emergency in 50 Rounds" curated by Ethan Rafal

Geneva, (solo), SF Camerawork
Queer California, Oakland Museum of California
QUÉ CHOLA, National Hispanic Cultural Center, Albuquerque, NM
Light, Paper, Process: Alt Process/Experimental Photography, Mills Building, SF

My Heart Welcomes You Back Home Again, (solo) Recology SF
Westward, curated by Ann Jastrab, SFAC Gallery at City Hall
Headlands Benefit Auction, Fort Mason SF

The High Art of Riding Low: Ranflas, Corazón, e Inspiración, Petersen Museum, LA
Detritus, San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art
Made by Hand, PhotoCentral, Hayward, CA (exhibition and catalog)
Circus, SF Camerawork, San Francisco
House of Wahala, curated by Wura-Natasha Ogunji; DiverseWorks, Houston, TX

Geneva, Artist-in-Residence Exhibition, Rayko Photo Center, San Francisco
Rock+paper+scissors: the artists’ process, DZINE Gallery #Portrait, with Laura Levine, DZINE Gallery

The Q-Sides (with Vero Majano and DJ Brown Amy), Galería de la Raza

Last call at Naps: Bernal Heights Outdoor Cinema film screening
Present Tense: Graduate Fellows Exhibition, Headlands Center for the Arts

Streetopia SF, Luggage Store Gallery, SF
42nd Annual MFA Exhibition, Berkeley Art Museum, Berkeley
(Re)Collection: a collaboration with Lost and Found, Intersection for the Arts
MFA Now: Root Division, SF

Frontrunners: 2011 Murphy and Cadogan Award Exhibition, SoMarts, SF

Art in Storefronts - 24th St Screening, with Martha Rosler and Vero Majano, Triple Base Gallery, SF

Home is Something I Carry With Me, curated by Adrienne Skye Roberts, film screening
17 Reasons Why, Mission 17 Gallery, with author Erica Lyle

Narrating Identity, (Dis)locating Bodies, Galería de la Raza, SF
The Show Starts on the Sidewalk, outdoor screening,
“Intervene! Interrupt!: Rethinking Art as Social Practice” UCSC

Ladies’ Night: Outdoor 3-month commission 16th Street BART Plaza
The View From Here: rooftop portrait studio, SOEX Public Art Day, SF

Infinite possibilities from trash in ‘Reclaimed: The Art Of Recology, by Tamara Suarez Porras, 48 Hills 2021
Kari Orvik's Tightly Focused Geneva Captures Daily Life in the Excelsior, by Roula Seikaly, KQED
Documenting an Outer Mission corner by tintype, SF Chronicle, by Sam Whiting 8/18
The Re-Purposeful Life, interview with Silicon Valley Magazine, 9/18
Black and White Magazine, interview, 5/17
¨Bird in Flight, Russian Photo magazine, article about nostalgia in the digital age 2017
The Rebirth of Tintype: An Old Photographic Medium is Revitalized (cover) Popular Photography Magazine 2/17
The Q-Sides, ArtNews "Pictures at an Exhibition", 5/15
The Q-Sides, Queer Latinos find place in lowrider culture, by Ryan Kost, SF Chronicle 6/15
SF MOMA’s “Open Space” blog: Public Art and Redevelopment, Adrienne Skye Roberts (4/09)

Trans Hirstory in 99 Objects, Edited by Christina Linden and Chris Vargas, 2023
Fred Moten's Radical Critique of the Present, The New Yorker, 2018
Brown Trans Figurations: Rethinking Race, Gender, and Sexuality in Chicanx/Latinx Studies, by Francisco Galarte
The ENCYCLOPEDIA Project, vol. 3: (contributor and cover image), 2018
SF Magazine: portraits for “The Fire Last Time” Revisiting the Hunter’s Point Riot, 2016

Berkeley Art Museum Permanent Collection

Eco Art Symposium: San Francisco Art Institute and Photo Alliance
Hartford Art School, MFA in Photography lecture
Stanford University, Photography Department
PhotoAlliance, Spring Lecture Series, SFAI
City College SF, Photographers and their Images series
DeYoung Museum, “Picturing the Past”


Stanford University
Lecturer, Dept. of Art & Art History, Photography, 2021-present

City College of San Francisco
Self-Portraiture, 2021/2018
Beginning Photography, Fall 2017 - present
Design Fundamentals, 2018

San Francisco Art Institute
Alt Processes, 2018-2019

University of California Berkeley
Beginning Digital Photography 2012-2013
Introduction to Visual Thinking 2012

California College of the Arts - YASP youth program, Black and White Darkroom 2016-2017

Kari Orvik

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