Motevalli was born in Tehran, Iran and moved to the US in 1977. In
1995 she received a BA from SFSU in Art with a minor in Women’s
studies and in 1998 an MFA from Claremont Graduate University. Her
work as an artist incorporates a combination of near-eastern
aesthetic with a western art education. Motevalli states, “Being an
immigrant in the US shows in my work a duality of culture, both
natural and learned. In all of my work, I create a dialogue that
critiques dominant views of oppressed people and culture in general”.
Her work in
art education is with youth who share a similar duality in vision.
Motevalli has been active in creating social change with her students
on issues of civil rights within the class through pedagogy or
working with students and community to organize around issues that
effect their quality of life and access to education.
Motevalli is a recipient of the California Community Foundation
Fellowship and the Visions of California Award. She currently lives
and works in Los Angeles, exhibiting art nationally and abroad as
well as organizing to create an active and resistant cultural
discourse through information exchange, either in art, pedagogy or
organizing artist and educators.