Assal Gheysari aka  P R I Y A  — b.1977 Tehran/ Iran

BFA California College of the Arts, San Francisco



My work activates space as a platform that stimulates experiences and kinesthetic learning. With that in mind, I design immersive environments intended for self-reflection, mind/body awareness, and community building.

I like to think of bodies as containers of consciousness, able to be activated and awakened through strategic organization, stimulation, and direction. I see this process of awakening as an effective pathway for achieving a collective experience of peace and unity.

The spaces I've created range from isolation boxes, to communal prayer rooms, bathing rooms, self-confessional booths, and retreats for cross-cultural collaborations. In my most current projects I make use of water for energetic purification and treat the space of the bathroom as a sanctuary where the act of bathing becomes a form of prayer.



< LET'S CUT TO THE CHASE BECAUSE TIME IS PRESSINGThis is about human consciousness and its potentiality for ascension < NOW >

I only see 2 kinds of people in the world today: Those who belong to the old world, and those who belong to the new world

The people of the old world are those whose consciousness is fear dominant. And the people of the new world are those whose consciousness is love dominant.



The old world is created by an old paradigm consciousness (fear-based) ; one that is currently seeing its own expiration. The new world is currently coming into being as a result of a new paradigm consciousness (love consciousness) that is the result of our evolution. The people whose consciousness operates in the new paradigm, find that thoughts and actions based in scarcity, fear, and greed, no longer feel right. Their fear-based thoughts are being challenged by the rising awareness of their illusory nature. They feel like old clothes they once wore, but that have now become tight and uncomfortable. Those of us tapped into, or moving towards this paradigm of love>unity consciousness, are also realizing that life is an ever-abundant and intelligent system that works like magic when we tune ourselves to ITS flow.

In the new paradigm, we relate to animals as our teachers and our friends. We relate to the planet as our mother and our beloved. Acts of kindness and generosity are a normalized response in our encounters with one another. We desire and demand honesty from our political leaders, our news sources, our overall social systems, and each other.

In this transitional period (the extinction of the old model and the full manifestation of the new model), we are left with the choice to cling on to the past and be left behind in an old, ugly, painful, and sad world, OR to surrender and embrace a consciousness (available to whoever is ready and wants it) that is weaving a new, beautiful, just, and abundant world for all living beings on our planet. 

What can be done?

Those of us with the opportunity of safety, education, health, and other resources, must work as active agents. We must work with a sense of urgency in our own transformation, and aid the transformation of others.

My work consists of acting as facilitator during this transitional time, by activating the body, mind, and spirit through ritual-based practices rooted in the values of the new paradigm for living.





2017 — THE SUBLIME series, painting exhibition, CMCBD's 7th annual artwalk, San Francisco, CA

2017 — BODIES OF WATER — BFA Thesis exhibition, CCA Hubbell Street Galleries, San francisco, CA

2016 — IF YOU COME TO MY HOUSE... — AICAD NY Studio Artist Residency, Brooklyn, NY

2014 — MARIE'S DEAD — The Folsom House, San Francisco, CA

2014 — PROJECT EVOKE  — Black Rock City, Nevada —Burning Man

2012 — GHABZ O BAST (Lost&Found) — AUN GALLERY Tehran, Iran

2011 — FANTASIES OF A MODERN PERSIAN BRIDE  — Faravahar Gallery, Tehran,Iran

2010 — QUANTUM REALITY — Academy of Art University,San Francisco, CA

2010, THIS HOLY HOLE — Academy of Art University, San Francisco,CA

2008 — LADIES IN THE STAIRWAYSF Open Studios, San Francisco,CA

2007 — TODAY'S IRANIAN WOMEN — Green Rice Gallery, San Jose, CA

2006 —BAY AREA FIGURATIVE NOW — California Modern Gallery, San Francisco,CA

2003 — THE POMPOLINIS — Shabnam Gallery, Tehran, Iran

2002 — NAKED TRUTH — Shabnam Gallery, Tehran, Iran

1999 — ZIN RAAHE BI NAHAAYAT— Khorshid Gallery, Tehran, Iran



2017 THE CALL — Performance collaboration with MENA members: Bonny Nahmias, Atoosa Maleki, and Sarah Seamstress), Oakland Museum of California, Oakland, CA

2017 — IF You Come To My House — CCA Commencement Exhibition, CCA Campus, San Francisco, CA

2016 —  If You Come to My House — Southern Exposure's 25th Annual Juried Exhibition: Me & You & This Other Thing

2009 — I DO NOT REPENT — Art Space Gallery, Oakland, CA

2007 — GET EXPOSE — 111 Minna Gallery in collaboration with Juxtapoz Magazine, San Francisco,CA

2006 —  THE LABYRINTH  — California Modern Gallery, San Francisco,CA

1998 — 14 SURREALIST PAINTERS —Khorshid Gallery, Tehran,Iran




2016/17 — Recipient of the Albertina "Nina" Zanzi Endowed Scholarship

2016/17 — Recipient of the All College Honors Ralls Scholarship in Painting Award

2016 —  AICAD New York Studio Residency Program Fellowship

2016 — CCA Visual Studies Symposium presenter "Iranian Female Identities and Their Many Faces"

2015 — Clyde & Co Community Art Award Honorarium 

2015 — Recipient of the Peter Shoemaker Memorial Scholarship

2012, 2013 — Jameel Prize nominee for "Lost&Found"