As the executive director of Root Division, a San Francisco-based visual arts nonprofit that connects creativity and community through education, exhibitions, and studio space, fine artist Michelle Mansour has dedicated much of her professional life to helping artists thrive and cultivate their work. Her own paintings investigate the interior world of the body and the overlapping realms of science and metaphysics. Listen in to hear Michelle’s journey to joining Root Division, what her role leading the organization entails, the difficult times the team has faced and overcome, success stories from artists who have gone through the program, and what Michelle has learned about being an artist and supporting artists during her 15 years helming the organization.
Michelle Mansour is an artist, educator, curator, and the executive director of Root Division, a San Francisco-based arts and arts education nonprofit. Her paintings—which initially investigated the interior world of the body, where wonder and fear, beauty and illness mingle in the same fluids and membranes, and have more recently become a broader reflection of the overlapping realms of science and metaphysics—have been shown in a number of galleries and solo exhibitions, including at the SFMOMA Artist Gallery and Latham Square. She has curated and cocurated several exhibitions, given lectures, and spoken on panels for a number of arts and arts education programs. In 2005, Michelle received an honorary fellowship from the Djerassi Resident Artists Program. She holds an MFA in painting from the San Francisco Art Institute, a BA in art theory and practice from Northwestern University, and a postbaccalaureate degree in art education from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.