Selen Özakhun

Selen Ozakhun (1980, Istanbul) is a Minneapolis based community education instructor and independent curator of public programs. Her work explores how to empower communities, support interactions, and foster creative thinking through non-formal education with an emphasis on art and craft. She is currently a doctoral candidate at Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University’s Department of Art History, Istanbul, Turkey, where she also received her M.A., and her dissertation focuses on contemporary art and craft hybrids. She has a BA in history from Koc University, Istanbul, Turkey and additional visual arts and culture education from several institutions in Turkey and Italy. She has been a member of International Association of Art Critics (AICA-Turkey) since 2009 and had the privilege to serve as a board member from 2011 to 2013. She has involved in organizing seminars and curating exhibitions. She has also contributed to numerous publications as writer.

In addition to her academic work, in 2004, she collaborated with Ilka Design Studio in Istanbul, to facilitate a non-profit education program to teach a new craft, textile production, to people who were mostly migrated from the rural parts of Turkey, in order to provide them with the perspective and skillset required to provide sustainability for themselves and their families. In 2010, she founded y65 with an agenda to provide job opportunities for women in underprivileged communities of Istanbul, who have never previously worked for salary and young graduates from design, craft and art majors of universities and vocational schools in Turkey. The studio was committed to make positive change and to revitalize communities through encouraging artisanal talent and supporting interactions through art and craft.