Maria del Carmen Montoya

photo of Carmen montoya
Assistant Professor of Sculpture & Spatial Practices
Room 410, Smith Hall of Art
[email protected]


Professor Montoya's studio practice combines participatory art, sculpture and digital media. Her primary medium is the communal process of making meaning. As an artist she seeks ways to catalyze this natural social phenomena with situations that insist on the power of human-scale intervention in the presumed inevitability of everyday life. Her approach is DIY and collaborative. She believes that art can be a potent crucible for social change. Thus, her work is often about resistance and challenging norms, inverting power hierarchies and breaking rules, but she also traffics in beauty, memory, humor and other potentially radical forces for activating communities.

She has lived and worked throughout Latin America where she served as the sole interpreter for an assembly of rural farms in San Salvador, an advocate for battered women in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico and an English teacher for a craft cooperative in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala. Her work has been shown at SIGGRAPH, PERFORMA, New Museum Festival of Ideas, ZKM | Museum of Contemporary Art, Venice Biennial of Architecture and Visiones Sonoras, in Morelia, Mexico, where she cofounded an artist residency for multimedia performance art.



She is one of three U.S.-based facilitators for the international arts collective, Ghana ThinkTank. In 2013, the collective was awarded a Creative Capital grant in emerging fields for an ongoing project that sparks problem-solving collaborations between immigrants and anti-immigrant factions on the U.S./Mexico border.



BA in Philosophy & Women's Studies, Loyola University of Chicago
MFA in Digital Media, Rhode Island School of Design


Professional Organizations

  • Ghana ThinkTank, international arts collective