2021 Next Creative Leaders Jury
Gray Area Foundation for the Arts
Director of Creative Development
Niki Selken _______(she/her) is an artist, technologist and educator. Her work focuses on storytelling, games and interaction design. She is the Director of Creative Development at Gray Area where she manages the artist incubator and education programs. As a designer and technologist, Niki focused on working with nonprofits and small businesses in the inclusion and social impact space (Ms. Foundation, Girls Write Now, LYRIC, Hesperian Health Guides) and as an educator, she taught a range of creative coding courses in both New York and San Francisco. A graduate of Parsons School of Design, Niki has taught at her alma mater, at St. Joseph's College in Brooklyn, at the University of San Francisco, at the Bay Area Video Collective and at Gray Area. She founded the Emoji Foundation, created the Emoji Dictionary, and her VR game, Emoji Flower VR. In 2014, she won New York NASA Space Apps and placed as a global finalist for wearable tech project, Senti8. Her game, Find Maria Rivera was exhibited and selected as an Award Finalist at Indiecade 2015. In 2016 she was selected as a Kill Screen game design scholar and Parsons E-Lab fellow for her Augmented Reality platform, Wayscape. Niki's work has been featured by Yahoo Tech, Buzzfeed, Make Magazine and Adafruit, among others. She identifies as Latina and hails from a long line of Mexican artists and craftsmen.