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Visual artist Marilyn Nance has produced exceptional photographs of unique moments in the cultural history of the United States and the African Diaspora, and possesses an archive of images of late 20th century African American life.

A two-time finalist for the W. Eugene Smith Award in Humanistic Photography for her body of work on African American spiritual culture in America, Nance has photographed the Black Indians of New Orleans, an African village in South Carolina, churches in Brooklyn, and the first Black church in America. She is recognized by the Smithsonian Institution Center for Folklore Programs & Cultural Studies as a community folklore scholar, an individual who has shown a significant contribution to the collection, preservation and presentation of traditional culture in a community or region. Her work can be found in the collections of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, and the Library of Congress.

Nance’s photographs have been published in The World History of Photography, History of Women in Photography, and The Black Photographers Annual. Her writing, which often accompanies her photographs, has been published by Aperture, The New York Foundation for the Arts, and the Friends of Photography. She is the recipient of the New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowships in Photography (2000 and 1989), Nonfiction Literature (1993), and the New York State Council of the Arts Individual Artists Grant (1987).

A graduate of New York University’s Interactive Telecommunications Program (Tisch School of the Arts), Nance is an African American digital pioneer; she created her “Soulsista” website in 1994, was one of the Internet’s first radio disc jockeys in 1996, and in 1998 produced an interactive web site based on an African divination system. Nance served as the Curator of Photography for the Digital Schomburg Web Project, selecting for Internet publication, over 500 images of 19th century African Americans, from collections of the research libraries of the New York Public Library. Additionally, Nance holds a B.F.A. in Communications Graphic Design from Pratt Institute, and an M.F.A. in Photography from the Maryland Institute College of Art.

Nance is a technology evangelist who encourages people of all ages to see themselves as designers, producers, and owners of information. She is currently sharing her experiences with other artists, organizing and protecting her archive, and exploring digital assets management. She is part of the intergenerational, interdisciplinary art collective, The Santana Group that creates and exhibits lenticular images from Nance’s archive.

Follow Marilyn Nance on Facebook. 

(via mylovelylifelongings-deactivate)

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