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Annie Buckley is a multidisciplinary artist and writer with an emphasis on art and social justice and an award-winning professor and nonprofit project leader. She applies her many years of experience in program development to mentor others through one-on-one coaching and small group trainings.


In 2013, Buckley began the work that has grown into Prison Arts Collective (PAC), a statewide project expanding access to the transformative power of the arts and leadership training that has provided programming for over 7,000 people incarcerated in 14 state prisons. Buckley is the founding director of the Institute for the Arts, Humanities, and Social Justice at San Diego State University, where she is a professor in the School of Art and Design and the principal investigator of VISTA (Valuing Incarcerated Scholars through Academia).

Buckley has received numerous awards and grants, including five competitive grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, a grant from the Mellon Foundation, and numerous grants and contracts from the California Arts Council and California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. In 2019, Buckley received formal recognition in the California State Senate by Senator Jim Beall for PAC, the inaugural Community Engaged Scholar award at CSU San Bernardino, and was named Outstanding Faculty, the top faculty honor. In 2023, Buckley was awarded the inaugural Public Impact Award from the Division of Research and Innovation and San Diego State University.

Buckley is the author of over 250 reviews and essays on contemporary art published in leading publications including over 100 reviews for and features in Art in America, ArtBound, The Huffington Post, and the Los Angeles Review of Books. She is the author of two books of fiction within multidisciplinary art projects, the author and illustrator of Kids Yoga Deck (Chronicle Books, 2003), and author of numerous non-fiction books for youth. Most recently, Buckley is the editor of Higher Education and the Carceral State (Routledge, 2024)

Buckley’s artwork embraces image, text, and participatory practice and has been included in museum and gallery exhibitions since the 90s. Highlights include an exhibition and participatory performance of "The People's Tarot," at Hollywood Art and Culture Center as part of the international art fair, Miami Basel, in 2014 and a large two-person exhibition at the Los Angeles International Airport in 2010-11.

Buckley has a BA with honors from the University of California, Berkeley, an MFA in New Genres from Otis College of Art and Design; a bilingual (English/Spanish) teaching credential; and a certificate in Women's Executive Leadership from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley.

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