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Brandt Maina | RIOA wa ROE (They/He, Her/Our) is a Portland-based queer artist, writer, director and performer born and raised in Nairobi, Kenya who documents and abstracts his autobiography into pastel drawings, surreal poetry, absurdist plays, particular photography, genre-fluid music, and soulful performances which shape sacred spaces that reify to audiences this sense of the Present Future as it passes—right here, the slowing down, right now—the deep breath that joyously exhales the grief in our collective traumas.

Maina has exhibited their visual work at BlueSky Gallery, P:EAR Gallery, Past Lives Gallery, and Gallery 114, and their artworks have been collected by SERA Architects and private collectors in Portland, Oregon. They have workshopped two of their plays with Portland Center Stage, one with CoHo Theater, and they will be directing another workshop and installation with Shaking the Tree Theater in July 2024. RIOA performs poetry around the city and has been commissioned to write works for Trinity Episcopal Cathedral Music, with whom they were a choir singer when they first moved to the city. In their social practice, they have worked with Portland Parks Foundation, Oregon Justice Resource Center, PCC CLEAR Clinic, Oregon Health Equity Alliance, and they are currently working on a data justice project with SmartCitiesPDX and the Homeless Youth Continuum of Downtown Portland. They received an Arts3C RACC grant for an installation project in Fall 2024 in collaboration with P:EAR and Outside the Frame. They are a 2024 Mentee with Creative Futures Collective and SoHo House Portland.

“To make sense of a senseless world by rendering it senseless once, even thrice, more”

eyes closed, peaceful face emoji

To find out more about Brandt Maina, click here.