Introducing our next Cliff Notes columnists

For the past six months, Cliff Notes subscribers have gotten the smartest/coolest/nichest/most fascinating art recommendations from four of our favorite regional writers, May Maylisa Cat, Angella d’Avignon, Jasmine Jamillah Mahmoud, and Theadora Walsh. But here at Variable West we’re all about a diversity of voices, and we’re thrilled to introduce you to our next four columnists!

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Washington: Sharon Arnold
Sharon Arnold (they/her/theirs) is a queer, nonbinary essayist and educator who weaves social philosophy and cultural theory into essays on art, culture, and enchantment. In addition to various independent curatorial projects and writing, they ran Bridge Productions, which focused on collaborative projects and process-based work until its final events in 2020. They are published across numerous arts and gallery publications throughout the Pacific Northwest, and currently host various projects which are regularly published on their website, Dimensions Variable.

Oregon: Demian DinéYahzi’
Demian DinéYazhi ́ is a Portland-based Diné transdisciplinary artist, poet, and curator born to the clans Naasht’ézhí Tábąąhá (Zuni Clan Water’s Edge) & Tódích’íí’nii (Bitter Water). Their practice is a regurgitation of purported Decolonial praxis informed by the over accumulation and exploitative supremacist nature of hetero-cis-gendered communities post colonization. DinéYazhi´’s praxis interrogates normative spaces by refusing to settle or perform for exploitative galleries and publishers that act as gatekeepers to the lethargic, toxic legacy of Western paradigms. They are a survivor of attempted european genocide, forced assimilation, manipulation, sexual and gender violence, capitalist sabotage, and hypermarginalization in a colonized country that refuses to center their politics and philosophies around the Indigenous Peoples whose Land they occupy and refuse to give back. They live and work in a post-post-apocalyptic world unafraid to fail. @heterogeneoushomosexual

Northern California: Christopher Alam
Christopher Alam is a 23 year old writer and journalist from Fresno, and based in the San
Francisco Bay Area. In college he was active in the arts scene of local radio station KDVS
90.3FM and served as a content editor on the student diaspora magazine Other Collective. He
is currently working as a general assignment reporter for KQED while also getting involved in
local printmaking studios and DIY radio stations. He writes short stories and poetry, with his
latest publication in Beirut literary journal Rusted Radishes. He is drawn to art that is surreal,
allegorical, and representative of how lived experience can bend reality.

Southern California: Gabrielle Lawrence
Gabrielle Lawrence (they/them) is a writer and editor from Southern California focusing on art, environment, food, and music. They care about queer and trans stories and are currently the managing editor for TransLash News and Narrative. Gabrielle is an aspiring music connoisseur, audio storyteller, and nature lover. Learn more about their work and services at

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