About

Amy Elkins is a visual artist and educator based in the Bay Area. She received her BFA in Photography from the School of Visual Arts and her MFA in Art Practice from Stanford University.  She works primarily in photography and installation and has spent the past fifteen years researching, creating and exhibiting work that explores the complexities of gender, race and identity, including how they are impacted by systems of power: prisons, the military, colonization, and hierarchies built upon social constructs.  Most recently Elkins' work pivots to include explorations of self as well as her family's deeply rooted and complex history in Southern California as an 8th generation born on Tongva/Gabrielino land in the greater Los Angeles area.  Her approach is series-based, steeped in research and oscillates between formal, conceptual and documentary.


Elkins has been exhibited and published both nationally and internationally, including at The High Museum of Art in Atlanta, GA; South Bend Museum of Art in South Bend IN; MSU Broad Museum in Lansing, MI; Kunsthalle Wien in Vienna; the Center for Creative Photography in Tucson, AZ; the Minneapolis Institute of Arts; North Carolina Museum of Art and more.  Her photographs have been published in American Photo, Conveyor, Dear Dave, EyeMazing, Financial Times, Harpers, Huffington Post, Los Angeles Times, Newsweek, NY Arts, New York Times, New Yorker, PDN, Real Simple, Stella and Vice among many others.   She was recently awarded a Fleishhacker Foundation Eureka Fellowship and Kala Media Arts Fellowship.  Past awards include the Aperture Portfolio Prize,  Peter S. Reed Foundation grant, Cadogan Award and more.

Elkins first book Black is the Day, Black is the Night won the 2017 Lucie Independent Book Award. It was shortlisted for the 2017 Mack First Book Award and the 2016 Paris Photo-Aperture Foundation Photobook Prize as well as listed as one of the Best Photobooks of 2016 by TIME, Humble Arts Foundation, Photobook Store Magazine and Photo-Eye among others.   Her second book Anxious Pleasures was published by Kris Graves Projects and can be purchased HERE.

Additional book publications include The Long Arc; Photography in the American South since 1845; The Portrait. Photography as a Stage From Robert Mapplethorpe to Nan Goldin; The Sports Show: Athletics as Image and Spectacle; Photographs Not Taken; By the Glow of the Jukebox: The Americans List; Keeper of the Hearth; Next Generation: Contemporary American Photography; and The Photographer’s Playbook among others.

Elkins co-founded Women in Photography (WIPNYC) with Cara Phillips in 2008.  The primarily internet-based project showcased the work of lens-based women artists outside of the traditional model of the commercial art world.  Since its inception, Women in Photography awarded over seventeen thousand dollars in grants to artists and collaborated with Aperture Foundation, LACMA, MoCP, Leslie Tonkonow, Lightwork, P.P.O.W Gallery, Humble Arts Foundation and many independent women curators.


Download full CV here



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