Carey Lin is a visual artist based in San Francisco, California. She earned her M.F.A. at the University of Chicago and her B.A. from New College of Florida. Aside from her individual studio practice, Lin directs Stairwell’s, a collaborative social practice project with site-specific programs in the Bay Area and beyond. She also creates a line of handmade ceramic sculptures under the moniker DONUT DEPOT.

Lin’s work has been exhibited at ampersand international arts (SF), Screen Share Video Gallery (Chicago), Tropical Contemporary (Eugene, OR), Root Division (SF), Aggregate Space Gallery (Oakland), tmoro projects (Santa Clara), City College of San Francisco, Martina }{ Johnston Gallery (Berkeley), Interface Gallery (Oakland), Tartine Bakery (San Francisco), Macarthur B Arthur Gallery (Oakland), Truesilver Gallery (San Francisco), Zughaus (Berkeley), Hyde Park Art Center (Chicago), Samsøn Projects (Boston), DOVA Temporary (Chicago), and more.

Lin has been artist-in-residence at the Wassaic Project (NY), Vermont Studio Center, Ox-Bow (Saugatuck, MI), Hayes Valley Art Works (SF), Wave Pool (Cincinnati, OH), Opossum House (Eugene, OR) and at Irving Street Projects in San Francisco’s Outer Sunset district.


My studio practice is broadly based on concepts of play, chance, and experimentation. I often work with 2D materials because I can realize my ideas quickly that way, but I am increasingly uncommitted to a particular scale or medium, utilizing painting, installation, ceramics, video, animation, and sound recordings.

Some ongoing thematic interests include self-reflexive processes and “impossible tasks,” such as attempting to paint realistic portraits of my paint palette while using the paint on the palette itself to paint with; and an investigating the place where abstraction and representation blur or overlap.

A work-in-progress I am deeply invested in is a long list saved in the Notes app on my smartphone called “Weird Ideas to Pursue or Do Nothing With”. I have been adding to this list for the past 3 years, and the only rule is that no idea is too absurd (or half-baked) to be included.

November 2018