Rachel Debuque

Rachel Debuque

Rachel Debuque

Assistant Professor

Contemporary Art, Humor, Sculpture, Installation, Performance, Video

Rachel Debuque is a visual artist and designer whose work spans installation, sculpture, video, and performance. Conceptually, she combines humor with topics such as identity psychology, spiritualism and consumerism. She is interested in how these topics can pair with accessible expressions of humor and absurdity to defy traditional art paradigms. Her work has been exhibited extensively including The Cue Foundation (New York, NY) and Vox Populi (Philadelphia, PA) and the ICA (Baltimore, MD). Debuque was an Artist in Residence at The Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts and received the Southern Constellations Fellowship at Elsewhere: A Living Museum. In 2017, She received a Maryland State Arts Grant for Sculpture. Her work has been featured in The Huffington Post, Washington City Paper, Bmore Art, Daily Serving, Maake Magazine, and ART 21 Magazine.

Her multi-disciplinary background is reflected in her collaboration, PLAKOOKEE. In partnership with artist Justin Plakas, PLAKOOKEE creates work that ranges from socially engaged projects to installations, video and design.

In addition to her artistic accomplishments, Debuque is a certified RYT 200 yoga instructor and certified laughter leader. She teaches a range of yoga classes and provides community laughter yoga sessions. These additional roles inform her art making by providing a deeper understanding of the mind/body connection and play methods that are applied to her performance work and studio experimentation.

Selected Publications

Recent Exhibitions (*denotes Solo Exhibition) 


The Institute for Contemporary Art, 2019

Baltimore, Maryland


E16: The Revolution Will Be Televised

Transformer, 2019 

Washington, D.C. 


Evening on the Edge with PLAKOOKEE*

National Gallery of Art, 2019

Washington, D.C. 


Hedonist Buddhist

WPA Annex, 2019

Washington, D.C. 


Eternal Cleanse*

Grizzly Grizzly, 2018

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


Open World

Arlington Arts Center, 2018

Arlington, Virginia 


Random Playlist

Washington Project for the Arts, 2018

Washington, D.C.


Forklift Experiments*

Bevier Gallery

Rochester Institute of Technology: School of Art, 2018

Rochester, New York


Spaces Places Things

Duke Hall Gallery

James Madison University, 2018

Harrisonburg, Virginia



Central Connecticut State University, 2018

New Britain, Connecticut


Grants and Fellowships

Robert K. Purks Faculty Enrichment Fund, George Mason University, 2018

Maryland Individual Arts Grant, Maryland State Arts Council, Sculpture, 2017

Mathy Award: Research and Development Award, George Mason University, 2017 

Courses Taught

2D Design and Color

New Media in the Creative Arts

Drawing I

3D Design and Beyond

Sculpture I

Sculpture II

Advanced Sculpture

Art and Humor 


MFA, The University of Georgia 

BFA, Indiana University of Pennsylvania 

University of Zagreb, Croatia 


Recent Presentations



In the Media

Hill, Nathan. Interview with PLAKOOKEE. Antrepo: EP 03: PLAKOOKEE / Experimental Art and Design. Full Service Radio Network, September 21, 2019. 

Michael Anthony Farley, “Laughing Through It: Rachel Debuque At ICA Baltimore” Bmore Art, September 4, 2019, http://www.bmoreart.com/2019/09/laughing-through-it-rachel-debuque-at-ica-baltimore.html. 

Roksana, Filipowska, “Destructive Plasticity as Creative Force, Thinking with PLAKOOKEE’s Eternal Cleanse” Speak Speak, February 18, 2019, https://grizzlygrizzly.wordpress.com/2019/02/18/destructive-plasticity-as-creative-force-roksana-filipowska/.

Mark Jenkins, “In the Galleries: Nine artists create worlds of their own for Arlington show” The Washington Post, September 14, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/museums/in-the-galleries-nine-artists-create-worlds-of-their-own-for-arlington-show/2018/09/14/228c9330-b516-11e8-94eb-3bd52dfe917b_story.html?utm_term=.bb81a0383ba8

Amy Boone-Mcreesh, “Inertia: Rachel Debuque and Justin Plakas” Bmore Art, January 5, 2017, http://bmoreart.com/2017/01/inertia-rachel-debuque-justin-plakas.html. 

Juan Michael Porter II, “Women Standing Tall and Going “Beyond Secretary”; Jenny Mushkin Goldman Interview” The Huffington Post, November 30, 2016, www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/women-standing-tall-and-going-beyond-secretary-jennifer_us_583f7463e4b0b93e10f8df0e

Maggie Davis, “The Feminist Legacy in Radical Plastic.” ART21 Magazine, July, 14, 2016, http://blog.art21.org/2016/07/14/the-feminist-legacy-in-radical-plastic/#.V5ff3xFBK9p