Ari Montford American, Mashantucket Pequot, b. 1951


"My creative process and studio practice involve scholarly exploration conducted in tandem with the development of an aesthetic that seeks to convey a social construct that further focuses on creating art that considers societal "justice". This is my exploration of transculturalism. The work is the essence of relational aesthetics. I do not see the work as political but rather more closely related to "a conversation" in its broadest and inclusive context. The ongoing work is to research what is "Black Indian" and the work created from the exploration will serve as the basis for a dialogue that is intended to go beyond the work. The work is part of the global dialogue, which seeks to question the canon by engaging in the deconstruction of perceived cultural constructs examining oppression." 


Ari Montford is an interdisciplinary artist, whose work ranges from photography and collage to performance art. Graduating with Honors in Fine Arts at Brandeis University, he was awarded the Rosland W. Levine Award for outstanding Achievement in Fine Arts and went on to earn his MA in Art and Education at Columbia University, NY, and MFA at the Hoffberger School of Painting, Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, MD.


Montford has exhibited his work nationally, curated exhibitions, and educated students in a variety of disciplines and media. In 2015 Persuasions, a mid-career retrospective exhibition, was presented at the Boston Center for the Arts. Vera Grant was the curator. Montford's numerous residencies include four Yaddo Residency Fellowships in Saratoga Springs, NY, the Art Matters Inc. NYC Individual Artist Fellowship, Skowhegan residency; and a VT Studio Center Residency Grant; the Dune Shack Residency Cape Cod, MA; as well as a Blue Mountain Residency, NY. Montford received two Connecticut Commission on the Arts grants, funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, an NEA Individual Artist Fellowship, the New England Foundation Art Matters Grant, and was twice awarded the Pollock Krasner Foundation International Grant to support independent work. In 2020 he was a recipient of A.R.T. Grant of the Berkshire Foundation, MA.


His work is in the collections of the RISD Museum, Providence, RI; the Chrysler Museum, Norfolk, VA; the DeCordova Museum, Lincoln, MA; the Taft Museum of Art, Cincinnati, OH; the Visual Artists Fellowship Archive at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American Art, Washington, DC; and the Haas Family Arts Library at Yale University, CT "3 Decades of Change" Artspace, among others.  His work is a recent acquisition of The Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA. Additionally, Montford is a Fellow of Brown University’s (CSREA) Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America for 2020-21.