For decades Wendy Ewald has collaborated in art projects with children, families, women, and teachers in Labrador, Colombia, India, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Holland, Mexico, and the United States. Starting as documentary investigations of places and communities, Ewald’s projects probe questions of identity and cultural differences. In her work with children she encourages them to use cameras to record themselves, their families, and their communities, and to articulate their fantasies and dreams. Ewald herself often makes photographs within the communities she works with and has the children mark or write on her negatives, thereby challenging the concept of who actually makes an image, who is the photographer, who the subject, who is the observer and who the observed. In blurring the distinction of individual authorship and throwing into doubt the artist’s intentions, power, and identity, Ewald creates opportunities to look at the meaning and use of photographic images in our lives with fresh perceptions.
Wendy Ewald has received many honors, including a MacArthur Fellowship and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, The Andy Warhol Foundation, and the Fulbright Commission. She was also a senior fellow at the Vera List Center for Art and Politics at the New School from 2000-2002. She has had solo exhibitions at the International Center of Photography in New York, the Center for Creative Photography in Tucson, the George Eastman House in Rochester, Nederlands Foto Institute in Rotterdam, the Fotomuseum in Wintherthur, Switzerland, and the Corcoran Gallery of American Art among others. Her work was included in the 1997 Whitney Biennial. She has published ten books, her fifth, a retrospective documenting her projects entitled Secret Games, was published by Scalo in 2000. Two books on recent projects were published in 2005. A third, “To The Promised land” was published in 2006 to accompany an outdoor installation in Margate, England commissioned by ArtAngel. She is an artist in residence at the John Hope Franklin Center and senior research associate at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University. She is also currently teaching at Amherst College.
She is represented by the Yossi Milo Gallery.
Wendy Ewald Publications:
American Alphabets, Scalo, 2005.
In Peace and Harmony: Carver Portraits, Hand Workshop, 2005.
Secret Games: Collaborative Works with Children, 1969-1999, Scalo in association with Addison Gallery of American Art, Center for Documentary Studies, and Fotomuseum Winterthur, 2000.
I Dreamed I Had a Girl in My Pocket: The Story of an Indian Village, New York, Center for Documentary Studies and W.W. Norton, 1996.
Magic Eyes: Scenes from an Andean Girlhood, Seattle, WA: Bay Press, 1992.
Portraits and Dreams: Photographs and Stories by Children of the Appalachians, New York: Writers and Readers Publications Inc., 1985. (out of print)
Retrato de un Pueblo, Bogota, Colombia: Museo de Arte Moderno, 1983. (out of print)
Appalachian Women: Three Generations, Whitesburg, KY: Appalshop,1981. (out of print)
Appalachia: A Self-Portrait, Frankfort, KY: Gnomon Press for Appalshop, 1979. (out of print)
Citations about Wendy Ewald
“A Child’s View.” New York Times, 17 July 1993, op-ed: 11.
Art in America, July 1986: 127.
Baker, Kenneth. “Rescuing the Lessons of History.” San Francisco Chronicle, 29 March 2000: E1, E5.
Ballerini, Julia. “Photography as a Charitable Weapon: Poor Kids and Self-Representation.” Radical History Review 69 (1997): 160-188.
Berger, Maurice. “Kids.” White Lies, 207-212
Bermudez, Melissa. “Class Act.” Currents, April 1992: 7.
Bonetti, David. “Jewish Museum Exhibit Uses Archives as Fodder.” San Francisco Examiner, 7 April 2000, Friday evening edition.
Boyd, Virgina. “Through a Child’s Eye.” about… time, May 1994: 16-17.
Brewington, Kelly. “Students Share Lives Through Camera Lens.” Durham Herald-Sun.
Chen, Howard. “Black Self/ White Self” Raleigh News and Observer, 5 July 1996, Durham edition: 1D, 3D.
Cheng, Vicki. “Shutter Opens Students’ World.” Raleigh News and Observer, 7 June 2000: 1B, 5B.
“Children of Different Lands Record Lives.” Carolinian, 13 April 1993.
Eden, Rebecca. “Jordan Students Say 500 Years Enough of World Map Distortion.” Durham Herald-Sun, 9 April 2001: D1.
“Exhibit Combines Kids’ Photos from Durham and South Africa.” Durham Herald-Sun, 4 April 1993: E6.
Ewald, Wendy. “Black Self/ White Self.” DoubleTake Magazine, Summer 1996: 54-66.
Ewald, Wendy. “Retrato de un Pueblo.” Aperture: Cultures in Transition.
Griffin, Jennifer. “Through the Eyes of a Child.” Weekly Mail, 4 December 1992: 35.
Hamilton, William. “Life Through Childhood’s Lens.” New York Times, 12 October 2000: F1, F11.
Holliday, Taylor. “Children’s Photos at Whitney Biennial.” Wall Street Journal, 14 May 1997.
Hyde, Katherine. “Portraits and Collaborations: A Reflection on the Work of Wendy Ewald.” Visual Studies, Vol 20 no 2, 2005.
Isaacson, Maureen. “Change of Focus.” Sunday Star, 13 December 1992: 4.
Johnson, Ken. “Images of Innocence.” New York Times, 4 April 2003.
Kimmelman, Michael. “When Artists Are Asked to Dress Up Modern Jewish History.” New York Times, 26 February 1999: B33, B40.
Kurtz, Michelle. “Pictures Worth a Magazine of Words.” Raleigh News and Observer, 27 November 1997: 4B.
Lewis, Hunter. “Picture-perfect Teaching Tool for Children.” Durham Herald-Sun, 26 November 2001.
Lilson, Ben. “Noticing Things.”
Michaels, Walter Benn. “Autobiography of an Ex-White Man.” Transition 73/74 (1998): 4-25.
Powell, Ivor. “First Look at the Pictures.” Vyre Weekblad, December/January 1993.
Prose, Francine. “Auschwitz: Artists’ Visions.” Wall Street Journal, 8 March 1999.
Prose, Francine. “Dreams.” O, April 2001: 168-173, 222.
Reale, Robin. “Photography Helps Cut Language Barriers.” Durham Herald-Sun, 16 March 1998: B3.
Stainburn, Samantha. “Photo Realism.” Teacher, October 2001: 22-29.
Sterling, Greg. “Exhibit’s Unsettling Images Force Us to Witness Suffering and Relief.” Jewish Bulletin of Northern California, 14 April 2000.
Twardy, Chuck. “Eyes Wide Open.” Raleigh News and Observer, 7 April 1993: 1D, 9D.
Wade-Hall, Elizabeth. “Photography Project No Shot in the Dark.” Durham Herald-Sun, 8 August 1994: B1.
Waggoner, Martha. “Hope, Truth, and Pain.” Kalamazoo Gazette, 1 September 1996.
Watts, Kathy. “Program Uses Photography to Teach Durham Students.” Durham Herald- Sun, 9 February 2002.
“Wendy Ewald: Portraits and Dreams: The Exhibition.” Carolina Times, 3 April 1993: 4.
Yarbrough, Michael. “Photojournalist Visiting Schools.” Durham Herald-Sun, 5 May 1990: 1A.