Rian has spent the past 25 years creating work as a multidisciplinary artist in the literary and visual arts fields as a writer, painter, curator, and musician, reflecting a commitment to community–both that in her immediate orbit, as well as in the greater international context. Her work as a writer with refugee and immigrant communities explores how storytelling and sharing through creative mediums often allows the hardest, and most necessary aspects of human history to be remembered, and in fact, honored.
She is widely published as an essayist and poet. Her anthology of Sierra Leonean poetry, Kalashnikov in the Sun (Pika Press), was released in 2010 and a copy is in every classroom in Sierra Leone. She was the author of the weekly column “The Alphabet of Light” for Daylight Magazine, is the poetry editor at The Oregonian newspaper, and is the recipient of an Artist Fellowship in Nonfiction from the Oregon Arts Commission.
As an independent curator, she has coordinated more than 375 photography exhibitions, and picture edited or written for over 80 books and catalogues.