Michigan State University
Michigan State University
Department of Art, Art History, and Design
2018–2019 Critical Race Studies Artist/Designer in Residence


The Critical Race Studies Residency Program is designed to empower artistic creativity that drives cultural transformation through a shared engagement with creative practice. The true impact of this program creates opportunities for shared experiences that embody the core values of MSU to cultivate diversity, create a positive environment, and embody inclusiveness with passion and determination.

Appointed to the 2018-2019 positions were:

  • Qais Assali, multimedia artist
  • Helina Metaferia, interdiscipinary artist

As part of their residency, Assali and Metaferia will produce substantial public projects that engage in critical approaches to diversity and inclusion through creative practice. They will each mount a solo presentations of their work, teach courses in the Studio Art and Apparel and Textile Design programs, and participated in outreach to the community throughout the year, working in some of MSU’s most publicly accessible spaces, such as (SCENE) Metrospace, MSU Union Art Gallery, Broad Art Museum, and Kresge Art Center, as well as locations in the greater Lansing community.

Qais Assali

Qais assali is an artist, designer and educator. His work has been exhibited at Rashid Diab Arts Centre, Khartoum (2015); Jeune Création, Paris (2016); Festival Artes Vertentes de Tiradentes, Brazil (2016); L'uzine, Casablanca (2017); 6018North, Chicago (2018); Galandiya International, Ramallah (2018); Temporary Art Centre, Eindhoven (2019); Solo Exhibitions at Akademirommet, Kunstnernes Hus, Oslo (2015), Khan al Wakala, Nablus (2016); and Michigan State University Union Art Gallery (2019). Assali has been a faculty member at a number of academic institutions in Palestine, recently was artist-in-residence for the critical race studies at Michigan State University 2018-19. Assali holds two master’s degrees—an MFA from Bard College and MA In Art Education from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. 

After leaving MSU, Qais Assali became a Core artist-in-residence at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

Helina Metaferia

Helina Metaferia is an interdisciplinary artist working in performance, video, installation, and collage. She has exhibited her work at venues including Museum of African Diaspora (San Francisco), Museum of Fine Arts (Boston), and Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (Detroit). Helina completed her MFA in 2015 at Tufts University’s School of the Museum of Fine Arts and attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Her artist residencies include Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, Ox-Bow, MASS MoCA, and NARS Foundation, among others. She has taught in the BFA and MFA programs at the San Francisco Art Institute, Michigan State University, and Parsons Fine Arts.

Helina Metaferia is now a Mellon Gateway Post-Doctoral Fellow at Brown University.