Hello and Welcome.

I’m an artist who believes in the power of slowing down and noticing. These actions help to reveal all sorts of quiet truths. When we observe, listen and contemplate, we can learn much about the complicated and sometimes contradictory relationship between people, their culture, and the land they live on.

Over the years I have explored how women and girls experience public space, have asked people from the Finger Lakes to literally get on a soapbox to talk to their neighbors, and have worked with residents of Belgrade to create a new guide to their city. I’ve organized cook-offs that feature foraged foods, created audio tours of people’s personal landmarks, and have asked people to use their cellphones to illustrate Lenz, a 200-year old book.

Sometimes I work in collaboration with other artists, most often with Emily Blair under the name next question.

From all of these interactions, I’ve learned that people speak about their lives in ways that are striking, often poetic, and when placed next to the words of their neighbors, provide a new map to understanding a specific people and place.


Illuminato is recipient of numerous awards and grants including the Key to the City of Aliquippa and Best Event in Pennsylvania. Most recently her project the Lost & Found Factory was recognized nationally as one of the most compelling public artworks of 2015 by the Americans for the Arts and Public Art Network. She has exhibited nationally and internationally and her work has been featured on the CBS national radio program The Osgood Files. She has been artist in residence at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris in 2009/2013 and at Internationales Waldkunst Zentrum in Darmstadt Germany. Her project Tripoli Street BakeYard, located in Pittsburgh, is a public cob oven and 70-foot arrow-shaped table that encourages people to get out, make a fire, and bake bread. It continues into its second year with local folks serving pizzas, hosting bake-offs, and providing a place for community to happen.

Originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, she now lives and teaches in another city with many bridges, Portland, Oregon.