Executive Director

Jessica Nickel brings diverse experience in nonprofit, fine art gallery and corporate management to Newspace. She received a BA in Fine Art and a BA in Literature from the University of Oregon. After graduation she was accepted for an artist residency at Engage Studios in Galway, Ireland. Here she helped to establish an alternative gallery space and found a passion for curating and non-profits arts management. Following this passion she has since worked for The For-Site Foundation in San Francisco, Disjecta Contemporary Art Center, Rainmaker Artist Residency and Upfor Gallery in Portland, OR. Jessica gained additional operation and business skills while successfully managing the launch of an innovative health insurance start-up in 2013.

150403_NS_Headshots_004 copy


Yaelle S. Amir has worked as a curator and researcher for over a decade, focusing primarily on socially-engaged photography, video, and installation with an emphasis on community engagement. She has held curatorial and research positions at several institutions including the International Center of Photography, Museum of Modern Art, and New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts. She has curated exhibitions at Artists Space, CUE Art Foundation, Center for Book Arts, Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts, Franklin Street Works, ISE Cultural Foundation, Marginal Utility, and the Wallach Art Gallery at Columbia University, among others. Yaelle is the recipient of several curatorial fellowships and awards by national organizations from The Luminary and Paul Artspace in St. Louis, to BRIC Media and the Art & Law Program in New York. At Newspace, Yaelle manages exhibitions, lectures, and public programs.

Education Director

Wendy Riley holds and MFA in studio arts and has over 8 years experience in designing and teaching photography curriculums. She has taught a range of image making classes from darkroom to digital photography, typography, graphic design to name a few. She comes to Newspace most recently from her position at Western Oregon University. Prior to teaching, Wendy worked in communications and design, creating print and web-based marketing primarily for education and performing arts organizations.


Mikayla Ryan

Development & Communications

MiKayla Ryan holds a BFA in Photography from The Pacific Northwest College of Art and an MBA in Nonprofit Business Management from Marylhurst University. She specializes in organizational development and capacity building services, and has extensive experience in designing and directing educational activities and exhibitions to engage the local arts community. MiKayla is also a working artist focusing primarily on alternative photographic processes and mixed media.

Program Coordinator & Volunteer Manager

Chelsea Crossett comes to Newspace with a strong background in photography, creative research and arts administration. She recently graduated from Pacific Northwest College of Art with an MA in Critical Theory and Creative Research, and received her BFA for Photography in 2014 from Pennsylvania College of Art and Design. While earning her BFA she worked as a darkroom technician where she assisted students with film processing and printing and maintained both the lighting and digital print studios. She then went on to work as a gallery assistant for Philadelphia Photo Arts Center where she edited artist images in the print studio, conducted research on artists and exhibition histories for upcoming shows, assisted in the installation/de-installation of several shows in the gallery, and maintained courses and workshops enrollment.

Facilities Manager

Pete Gomena has worked as a newspaper reporter, editor, and photographer, commercial photographer, studio manager, and digital imaging technician. He has a BS in Magazine Journalism from Syracuse University, and a BA in Industrial/Scientific Photography and Color Technology from Brooks Institute of Photography. Pete photographs with large-format view cameras, medium-format, pinhole, junk store, and digital cameras. At Newspace, Pete ensures all the public facilities are running smoothly.


photographs courtesy of Carl Sweets and Newspace volunteer Sam Slater