News + Current Projects
No Wheels: Film explores limits of living without a car by Lisa O’Donnell for the Winston-Salem Journal
Documentary film Placing Identity blogpost featured on The Pulitzer Center.
Weaving Connections: A NewsArts Student Documentary (read)
Triad Arts podcast on Finding Home: Portraits of Courage by David Ford
Interview with Joe Mills (read)
As a freelance artist and documentarian, I use multimedia platforms to blend the inquiry and discipline of documentary with the insight and creativity of fine art. Themes addressed in my award-winning work involve the human conditions of community, place, identity, and memory. My photography, workshops, and films have been funded by universities, K- 12 schools, museums, nonprofit organizations, and
Beginning as a CNN journalist and producer, I earned an MFA in fiction, published 79 Ways to Calm a Crying Baby with Simon & Schuster, and then studied documentary storytelling at Duke University. Stories from my life and the lives of others are my abiding interest. I believe art is a way to make meaning, to explore deeper connections to the world around us as well as the landscape within.
In 2008, I founded a visual literacy program, Writing with Light, that combines photography and writing with self-portraiture. I teach classes on Writing as Discovery, Text + Context, documentary filmmaking, and visual storytelling and enjoy mentoring students in the process of creativity.
My educational work teaching writing, photography, and filmmaking to young people has produced curriculum used in classrooms locally and globally. In 2012-13, I served as visiting artist for The Weatherspoon Art Museum, collaborating on a yearlong teaching residency at The Newcomers School, which educates newly arrived immigrants, many of them political refugees. In 2017 and 2018, I was a Pulitzer Center grantee and, in collaboration with my students, produced the documentary films Weaving Connections and Placing Identity.
I directed and produced the documentary, The Final Rummage, which premiered at the 2015 RiverRun International Film Festival. I was a semifinalist in the Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition 2016 at the Smithsonian Institution's National Portrait Gallery. My work has been exhibited internationally, and is featured in many private and public collections, including the University of Melbourne and the City of Winston-Salem.
photo by Holly Wilbur
Bus Stop Jobs (Director/Executive Producer)
A documentary film about a day in the life of Brittany Marshall, a single mother who rides the Winston-Salem Transit Authority to work and is struggling to move above the poverty line. Funded through a grant from Winston-Salem State University and The Center for the Study of Economic Mobility.
Placing Identity (Artist in Residence/Executive Producer)
A documentary filmmaking workshop for high school journalism students. The project examines how our identity intersects with place. The short film focuses its lens on economic mobility, the notorious realities facing our county’s low-income residents, and how media tells the story. Awarded grant from The Pulitzer Center.
Proof + Disappearance (Solo Exhibition, Salem College)
For the past decade I’ve focused my lens on creating scenes in which women are caught in the act of dreaming, loving, fuming, leaving or coming. Whether the figure stands in a field of flowers or walks out an open window, I aim to capture the paradox that photographs provide proof of what disappears.
from Proof + Disappearance
To commission portraits or to purchase prints/digital license, please email me.