blackbird spring 2002 vol.1 no. 1



For more than thirty years, Wendy Ewald has collaborated with children and adults around the world, working in communities in Labrador, Appalachia, Colombia, India, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Holland, Mexico, Canada, North Carolina, and New York. She partners her keen observational and creative skills with her students' imaginations, encouraging them to use cameras to create individual self-portraits and portraits of their communities and to articulate their dreams and hopes while working with her in visual and verbal collaboration.

Born in Detroit in 1951, Ewald is currently a senior research associate at Duke University’s Center for Documentary Studies and an artist-in-residence at the university’s John Hope Franklin Center. She is also a senior fellow at the Vera List Center for Art and Politics at the New School for Social Research in New York. Ewald has served as a visiting artist at numerous institutions, most recently at the Queens Museum of Art and the Museum of Art at the Rhode Island School of Design, to complete special commissions. Over a decade ago, she founded the Literacy Through Photograph program in Durham, North Carolina, now thriving in many elementary and middle schools.

Ewald has received many honors in recognition of her innovative creative practice, including a MacArthur Fellowship and a Lila Wallace Reader’s Digest Visual Arts Fellowship, as well as grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts, Andy Warhol Foundation, and the Fulbright Commission. Her forthcoming book, American Alphabets, is published by Scalo. In 2000, Scalo also published the comprehensive catalogue, Wendy Ewald: Secret Games, Collaborative Works with Children 1969–1999, which accompanies the artist’s retrospective exhibition that is continuing to tour nationally. Current and upcoming stops include the High Museum of Art in Atlanta and the Mint Museum in Charlotte.

Ewald has exhibited her work extensively since the mid-1970s. She has had solo exhibitions at the International Center for Photography, New York; Center for Creative Photography, Tucson; George Eastman House, Rochester; Ackland Art Museum, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; University Art Museum, University of California at Berkeley; Ansel Adams Center, San Francisco; Nederlands Foto Institute, Rotterdam; and the Fotomuseum in Winterthur, Switzerland, among many other venues. Her work has also been included in numerous group exhibitions, including the 1997 Whitney Biennial, and acquired by notable institutions such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Library of