I first learned of Jennifer Shaw about seven years ago when I was searching for good examples of artistic website designs. I found her website to be elegantly designed. Then I viewed her images and immediately forgot about my website search.
A few years ago at an Atlanta Celebrates Photography (ACP) portfolio review, an artist wandered over to see my wet plate collodion work. I read her name tag. “You’re Jennifer Shaw,” I said, as if she needed reminding. “You’re the Jennifer Shaw!” She laughed and looked around as if I must be speaking to someone else, anybody but her. “I don’t know about being ‘the‘ Jennifer Shaw, but I guess I am one of them,” she said.
She didn’t realize how good she was then. Representation from five galleries and a book later, Jennifer probably has a better idea of her impact as an artist. She remains as gracious as she was at that ACP event.
Jennifer studied photography at the Rhode Island School of Design before moving to New Orleans to pursue an art career. In addition to producing amazing fine art, she teaches one of our newest alternative photographic arts: darkroom photography. Jennifer is a founding officer and board member of the New Orleans Photo Alliance (NOPA), and she directs their annual PhotoNOLA festival.
Her photographs have been published in B&W Magazine, Shots, Light Leaks Magazine, Oxford American, The Sun and The New Orleans Review. Her work is exhibited internationally and in the public collections of the New Orleans Museum of Art, the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, and the Museum of Fine Arts Houston. Jennifer is featured in Plastic Cameras: Toying With Creativity (Focal Press, 2010) and Before During After (UNO Press, 2010).
Her book, Hurricane Story, is a graphic novel told in first-person narrative using photographs of toy-filled scenes. The book depicts Jennifer’s surreal hurricane Katrina evacuation adventures, including the birth of her son the day the hurricane made landfall. Hurricane Story is available at HurricaneStory.com.
In her artist statement, she says photography is an act of discovery for her. For those who still doubt an artist’s ability to make compelling fine art using toy cameras (and often toy subjects) discover the Jennifer Shaw and be convinced.