Rian is an independent photography curator and writer. She has curated or coordinated more than 375 photography exhibitions internationally, and picture edited or written for over 80 books and catalogues.
She is an accomplished multidisciplinary artist, working prolifically as a writer, painter, installation conceptual artist, and musician, reflecting a commitment to community–both in her immediate orbit, as well as in the greater international context. Her most recent international exhibition was in Iceland and incorporated video, painting, words, and music. Her work with refugees and immigrants in war-torn communities and human trafficking survivors explores how storytelling and sharing through creative mediums often allows the hardest and most necessary aspects of human history and experience to be remembered, and in fact, honored. As a musician she has made 8 records, and acted as producer on others.
She is widely published as a journalist, essayist and poet, and the author of three notable books. Her anthology of Sierra Leonean poets and their accounts of the civil war, Kalashnikov in the Sun (Pika Press), is in every classroom in Sierra Leone. Life Expectancy was released in 2015. 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 numerous artist fellowships and grants.