Pato Hebert

Associate Arts Professor; Chair

Pato Hebert

Pato Hebert is a visual artist, educator and organizer. He joined Tisch School of the Art’s Department of Art & Public Policy in 2012, where he has served as Chair since 2020. His students have twice nominated him for the David Payne-Carter Excellence in Teaching Award. In 2008 he received the Excellence in Photographic Teaching Award from Center in Santa Fe. He has lectured, exhibited and led workshops at universities around the United States as well as in Abu Dhabi, Buenos Aires, Florence, Melbourne, Mexico City and Shanghai. 

Hebert’s artwork explores the challenges and possibilities of interconnectedness. He is particularly interested in space and place, spirituality and ecology, pedagogy and progressive praxis. He works with photography, graphic design, sculpture, installation, light, text, performance and socially engaged forms. His work appears in museums and galleries, as well as community spaces, schools, public architecture and unexpected nodes of circulation. He often works in collaboration with fellow artists, writers, educators, young people and community members to create new forms and meaning.

His creative projects have been presented at the Centro de Arte Contemporáneo in Quito, Beton7 in Athens, the Ballarat International Foto Biennale, PH21 Gallery in Budapest, the Songzhuang International Photo Biennale, and IHLIA LGBT Heritage in Amsterdam. His art has been published in The Focal Press Companion to the Constructed Image in Contemporary Photography (eds. Massoni & Shindelman), Street Art San Francisco: Mission Muralismo (ed. Jacoby) and Nueva Luz. Hebert’s art has been supported by grants from the Rockefeller Foundation, the Creative Work Fund, the National Education Association and a Mid-Career Fellowship for Visual Artists from the California Community Foundation. He has been a BAU Institute/Camargo Foundation Residency Fellow in Cassis, France and an artist-in-residence at PLAYA. His writing and textual work have appeared in publications such as AIDS and the Distribution of Crises (eds. Cheng, Juhasz, Shahani), Transforming the Academy: Faculty Perspectives on Diversity and Pedagogy (ed. Willie-LeBreton), Latina/o Sexualities: Probing Powers, Passions, Practices and Policies (ed. Asencio) and journals such as Visual Inquiry and the Journal of Visual Culture.

Hebert has worked in community-based HIV prevention and mobilization since 1994. Engaging primarily with queer people and communities of color, Hebert has worked in small grass-roots efforts, large community-based organizations as well as international organizing and advocacy. For many years he led local prevention programs, large-scale outdoor media campaigns and a national community-based publishing house at AIDS Project Los Angeles (now APLA Health). He also worked with the Global Forum on MSM & HIV (now MPact Global) to help local organizations in Latin America, Africa, Central Asia and Eastern Europe to develop innovative approaches to HIV mobilization, programs, research, advocacy and justice. He curated exhibitions and led creative initiatives at the International AIDS Conferences in Vienna (2010), Melbourne (2014), Durban (2016) and Amsterdam (2018).

Hebert’s health work has continued since the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, with a particular focus on disability justice and the needs of people living with long COVID. He is a COVID-19 long hauler, living with the impacts of the coronavirus and publicly addressing the pandemic since March of 2020. His Lingering solo exhibition about long COVID was curated by Ruti Talmor and debuted at Pitzer College in 2022. His writing, commentary and art about COVID have appeared in The Long COVID Survival Guide: How to Take Care of Yourself and What Comes Next (ed. Lowenstein), Lastgaspism: Art and Survival in the Age of Pandemic (eds. Romero, Tucker, Wang), The Los Angeles Times, BOMB, TheBody, ArtsEverywhere, and NACLA — Report on the Americas. 

Hebert was born in Idaho Falls, Idaho and grew up there and in Eugene, Oregon. He also spent time in Panamá, where his mother is from. He earned his M.F.A. in Studio Art from the University of California Irvine, and his B.A. in Studio Art from Stanford University. Prior to NYU, Hebert was a visiting assistant professor at Reed College and Scripps College. He also taught at Art Center College of Design and the University of California, Irvine.