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

2018 Low Residency MFA student at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, IL

2017 BFA graduate from the California College of the Arts, San Francisco, CA

2006-2008 Landmark Forum Introduction leader, San Francisco, CA

2005 Holistic Health Practitioner certification from the World School of Massage, San Francisco, CA

2003 Introductory Level 2 Iyengar Yoga certification, Pune, India



Self-care is Inevitable. Self-care is Responsible. Self-care is Sustainable. Self-care is Power. Self-care is Love. Self-care is Intelligence. Self-care is Beauty. Self-care is Political. Self-care is Art.  

My art form is both material and non-material. I invite guests to take part in (virtual and physical) rituals, pilgrimages, retreats, and holistically supportive experiences that trigger self-awareness and encourage the anchoring of bodies in the here and now. I see the here and now as a portal to a higher consciousness and to the spiritual realms that are outside the reach of our physical senses. If we go back to Art's original and earlier function we can see that it was primarily used to bridge humans to their gods or god.  It's only recently that the function of Art has shifted to feed the consumer culture that the Capitalist economic system has created. Art is now primarily treated as a product or used as distraction, and has lost its value as a tool for spiritual communion. Unfortunately, with so many global conflicts and environmental crises, I see an urgency to repurpose art into a tool for supporting the transition of our consciousness from a paradigm of fear and greed to a paradigm of love, sharing, and collective thriving. With that in mind, I design immersive environments intended for self-reflection, mind/body awareness, and community building. The spaces I've created range from isolation boxes, to communal prayer rooms, bathing sanctuaries, self-confessional booths, and retreats for effective cross-cultural collaborations. In my last two participatory performances If You Come To My House and Bodies of Water,  I make use of water for energetic purification and treat the space of the bathroom as a sanctuary where the act of washing and bathing becomes a form of prayer. 

Currently I am working on an educational curriculum called "Airplane Mode Practice" using text and emoji art designed for high school and college students seeking to launch their personal practice of self-care and self-knowledge.



MANIFESTO 2016-2017-2018

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

There are only 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.






2018 — Low Residency MFA Merit Scholar at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago

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 at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London for "Lost&Found"


SOLO Exhibitions


2017 — The Sublime, 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 RealityAcademy of Art University,San Francisco, CA

2010,  This holy hole, Academy of Art University, San Francisco,CA

2008 — Ladies in the stairway, SF 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

GROUP Exhibitions


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 Exposed  — 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