Jessica Lopez Lyman

Jessica Lopez Lyman, Ph.D. is an interdisciplinary performance artist and Xicana feminist scholar interested in how People of Color create alternative spaces to heal and imagine new worlds. Jessica received her Ph.D. in Chicana and Chicano Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She studies Midwest Chicanx/Latinx culture and performance. Her manuscript, tentatively titled Midwest Mujeres: Chicana/Latina Performance examines racialized and gendered geographies of the Midwest through poetry, theater, hip hop, and visual art. Jessica has been published in Chicana/Latina Studies Journal, Label Me Latina/o, and Praxis: Gender and Cultural Critiques. Her other research interests include Chicana feminisms, decolonial studies, and gentrification.  

Jessica is a member of Electric Machete Studios, a Chicanx/Latinx/Indigenous art collective on St. Paul’s West Side. She is working on a multi-media performance piece, Trimmings, about her grandfather, an L.A. barber. A 2017 Naked Stages Fellow, she recently performed a one woman show at Pillsbury House Theatre. 141 Mednik Avenue is an interdisciplinary installation that explores Chicanx rituals based on family archives and stories from her abuelo. Other improvisational performance installations include Futuristic Moves a collaborative exploration of Black and Brown ancestral knowledge as a form of healing amidst collective practices of violence, and Interventions: A Xicana & Boricua Perspective, a Latinx feminist response to the Guerrilla Girls Takeover. 

Jessica has performed at First Avenue, Intermedia Arts, Minnesota Museum of American Art, and Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana (MACLA) to name a few. She currently is a Visiting Professor at the University of Minnesota in the Department of Chicano and Latino Studies. Jessica's performance work includes screen-printing, teaching, and object making as La Professora Luchadora with her mobile screen printing paleta cart project funded by Springboard for the Arts Ready Go projects.

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The paleta cart is an important Mexican/Chicanx cultural tool and often a symbol for the informal economy. Inspired by lowrider and lucha libre culture, this remixed paleta cart functions as a mobile screen press. The luchadora has been used at neighborhood gatherings, political protests, art openings, and schools.

Funded by Spring Board for the Arts Ready Go Project.