Welcoming the Muña 2023 cohort:

Sofía Sánchez Borboa
Yiran Chi
Joan Roach
Kyel Joi Brooks
Riley Yaxley

Look out for the cohort’s upcoming published pieces on Sixty after the completion of the program. There will be no public programming this year.

Muña is a 3-month art writing program providing a cohort of six writers the opportunity to critically and creatively engage with art writing strategies, readings, exercises, and conversations. The program is structured for writers to develop and refine their practices through workshops and peer-review feedback. Muña is in collaboration with Sixty Inches From Center. 

For any information or questions, please visit chuquimarca.com/muna or email info@chuquimarca.com

Sofía Sánchez Borboa is an art historian and Chicago-based independent curator. In her curatorial practice, she works with ideas of kindness as a form of labor to make art more accessible and horizontal. She often works in a participatory environment. In her research, she focuses on issues of ethnicity, identity politics, postcolonialism, and feminism and how these are told through history and storytelling. She has held exhibition-making roles in the Museo de Arte Carrillo Gil in Mexico City, the Sullivan Galleries, and the Field Museum in Chicago. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Art History from Centro de Cultura Casa Lamm and a master’s degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in Visual and Critical Studies. She recently published her first book, Anyone who has never been bored cannot be a storyteller, about her neighborhood Coyoacán in Mexico City.

Yiran Chi (she, they) is an emerging curator, writer, and art historian. Yiran is based in Washington DC and is originally from Dalian, China. They research on the history and theory of new media art, with a focus on examining moving images at the intersection of contemporary art and computational media through the lens of feminist and queer theories. They recently finished a nine-month graduate curatorial internship at the National Gallery of Art, where they curated a long-term reinstallation of Mark Rothko Tower Gallery that probes the interplay of space and bodies in Rothko’s paintings. They graduated from the University of Chicago with an M.A. degree in the Humanities, and got their B.A. degree in Art History and Film and Media Studies from Northwestern University. Yiran has worked in curatorial and research positions at the Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago, The Drawing Center, White Columns, and the Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum. Yiran is interested in seeking out the potential for using curatorial and writing practices for advocacy and activism. Through DJing and organizing queer parties, Yiran is also passionate about creating alternative forms of communal bonding through the act of sharing music.

Joan Roach is a Chicago-based educator, curator, arts writer, and poet. Their writing and curatorial practices focus on sculptural, textual, and performance-based art concerned with how social space is conceptualized, created, and restricted. They write from a phenomenological perspective to encourage readers to critically examine their relationship with the material world. After working as the publication editor for LVL3, a curatorial resident for Chicago Artist’s Coalition, and then a curatorial assistant for Johalla Projects, they elected to focus their career on arts writing and publishing, while teaching Art History at the Chicago High School for the Arts. Most recently, they’ve begun producing an art journal titled Slit that will debut in spring 2024.

Kyel Joi Brooks, MFAW, is a multi-hyphenate Chicago creative. She is an independent writer who has self-published seven books to date. Kyel loves to preserve her darling community with words. Since earning her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, her practice allows her to constantly explore and reimagine South Side Chicago neighborhoods. Brooks continues to do the work of keeping the stories of her neighbors and peers uplifted in art and media by writing intentional and space specific poetry. 

Riley Yaxley is a shameless navel gazer. An essayist working primarily in hybrid memoir, she invites readers into some of her most intimate experiences: putting herself in credit card debt to finance her medical transition, having anal sex for the first time, making a grave mistake and losing a lover, or kissing her best friend while they played as children and realizing she might be a transsexual. Her work has appeared in Catapult, Sixty Inches from Center, Chicago Gallery News, and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s journal of arts administration & policy. She is currently an editor for Sixty Inches from Center. The middle child of seven, Riley was born and raised in a Detroit suburb and currently lives in Chicago on the stolen land of the Ojibwe, Potawatomi, and Odawa peoples. She earned her BA and MA in Writing, Rhetoric and Discourse from DePaul University.

Sixty Inches From Center is a worker-led nonprofit and publishing platform that produces collaborative projects about artists, archival practice, art history, and culture in Chicago and the Midwest. We are a collective of arts workers, writers, editors, artists, curators, librarians, and archivists who promote and prioritize the preservation of culture within indigenous, diasporic, queer, and disability communities of our region.

Chuquimarca is an art library project tasked to gather and share resources related to contemporary art and art histories. The project gathers art books, exhibits projects, and proposes educational programs. It runs a seasonal research group program called Tanda and a summer art writing program, with Sixty Inches From Center, called Muña.