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Nelson Santos

Visiting Assistant Professor


Nelson Santos is an artist, curator and arts professional. He is a maker of queer things, an instigator of ideas and an empathetic dreamer who believes in collaborating for change.

With over 20 years of experience in the arts, advocacy, and non-profit sector, Santos has led the vision of non-profit art organizations with an LGBTQ+ and social justice mission. He has worked with hundreds of artists, activists, curators, and community groups to produce and present exhibitions, public programs, visual art projects, and publications that embrace the rich and diverse cultural histories that are often under-recognized and underrepresented. His curatorial projects intertwine art activism, queer history and personal narratives.

Santos is currently an Independent Consultant specializing in guiding nonprofit organizations and art & design creatives. He was previously Visual AIDS, Executive Director; Leslie-Lohman Museum, Interim Director of Curatorial Programs; Fire Island Artist Residency, Board Member and is currently Queer|Art, Board President.

MFA, School of the Art Institute of Chicago; BS/BA, San Jose State University