V a n n  Thomas  P o w e l l  

In-Progress
    On Contentious Ground
    Looking for Lowery
    Alamance

Projects
    Points of Entry
    STAEOH
    Rebirth of Tragedy
    Retracing Sherman

About
Vann is a Fine Art
Documentary
Photographer and
Experimental Filmmaker


+1 919 638 9146
vannthomas.powell@gmail.com
Based in Durham, NC

︎

© Vann Thomas Powell 2023
+1 919 638 9146
vannthomas.powell@gmail.com
Based in Durham, NC


Photo by J. Velazquez Sandoval

Vann Thomas Powell (MFA, Duke University) is a documentary artist working with still photography and the moving image. His visual practice incorporates an array of photographic mediums in concert with historical and philosophical research to investigate how past, place, and memory construct  identity with particular focus on American identities.  He is increasingly interested in investigating subjects related to foundation narratives, myths, tall tales, folklore, and seldom told histories.

Vann’s work has been exhibited across the United States at venues such as The International Center of Photography (New York, NY), SlowExposures Festival (Zebulon, GA), PAL Gallery (Provo, UT), City Art Space - Rochester Institute of Technology (Rochester, NY) and The Frederick Jameson Gallery (Durham, NC).  His work has appeared in domestic and international publications including The Independent (UK), Glitterati Editions (New York, NY), and Subjectively Objective (Detroit, MI). He has self-published and published artist books in collaboration with Benschop Books (Denver, CO). His books and works can be found in private and public collections including the Rubenstein Rare Books and Manuscripts Library (Duke University) and the Museum of Fine Art Special Collections (Tufts University). Vann is a 2023 Photolucida Critical Mass finalist.

Vann is available for visiting artist programs, guest lectures, curatorial projects, and editorial assignments.

*Films available upon request.


CV


Education
2023        MFA, Experimental and Documentary Art, Duke University, Durham, NC
2010         BA, Philosophy, Appalachian State University, Boone, NC

Solo and Collaborative Exhibitions
2023         On Contentious Ground, Frederick Jameson Gallery, Duke University, Durham, NC
                   On Contentious Ground, Through This Lens Gallery, Durham, NC (with Philip Rosoff)
2021          Piedmont Topographics, Through This Lens Gallery, Durham, NC (with Ryan Helsel)

Selected Exhibitions and Screenings
2024        Human Stories, ARTDOC, Online
                   Mapping Perspectives, Throughline, Fotofest Biennial, Houston, TX (Curated by Samantha Johnston)
2023         Homecoming Biennial, RIT City Art Space, Rochester Institute of Technology
                   Identity 23, Atlanta Photography Group Gallery, Atlanta, GA (Curated by Jeffery Richmond-Moll)
                   Home is Where, Float Photography Magazine (Curated by Dana Stirling)
                   Plant Etherics, Summer Salon, Sacred Mountain Sanctuary, Candler, NC (Curated by Bruce Cooper)
2022         Slow Exposures, Stickland’s, Concord, GA (Jurreid by Maria L Kelley and Michael Pannier)
                   Everything is Narrative, Subjectively Objective, Detroit, MI (Curated by Noah Waldeck)
                   Window Shopping, Duke Independent Film Festival, Duke University, Durham, NC
2021         What is Good Art, Kenan Institute for Ethics, Duke University, Durham, NC (Third Place)
                   The Family Of, Peep Space, Tarrytown, NY (Curated by Jeff Dietz)
2020        #ICPCONCERNED, International Center for Photography, New York, NY (Curated by David Campany)
                   Oasis of Beauty, Six Feet Photography Project, Online (Curated by Susan Patrice)
                   Home, The Exhibition, Stay Gallery, Online (Curated by Micah McCoy)
                   Photography and Poetry, Six Feet Photography Project, Online (Curated by Troy Colby)
                   Colors of Quarantine, Color Tag Magazine, Online (Curated by Arianna Lucas)
                   Remember When, Hallway Door Gallery, Atlanta, GA (Curated by John Prince)
2019          Photos Need Friends, PAL Gallery, Provo UT

Artist Books
2023        Points of Entry, Edition of 50. Benschop Books, Denver, CO
2020        Cousins, Self-Published, Edition of 100. Durham, NC

Films
2022         Ins, 3:10, Digital
                   Window Shopping, 4:11, Found Footage
                   Plant Etherics, 3:30, 16mm 

Publications as Photo Editor
2023        Desire Lines, Meadow Treadwell, Edition of 60, Benschop Books, Denver, CO

Curatorial Projects
2024        Distant Dialogues, With Lisa Beard and Micah McCoy, Float Photography Magazine, Online
2022        Instant Gratification, Float Photography Magazine, Online
                  Haunting Loss: MFA|EDA 2022 Exhibition, Duke University, Durham, NC
2021        New Topography, Color Tag Magazine, Online

Bibliography
2024        Stir the Pot, Overlapse, London, UK, Edited and curated by Tiffany Jones, Lisa McCarthy, Kyle Worthy
2023        Homecoming Biennial Catalog, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, New York
                  Home Is Where, Float Photography Magazine, New York, NY
                  William Seaman: Print Retrospective, Duke University, Durham, NC
2021         Everything is Narrative, Subjectively Objective, Detroit, MI
                  #ICPCONCERNED; Global Images for Global Crisis, Glitterati Editions, New York, NY
                   Southern Photographers Index, “Vann Powell.” Alex Christopher Williams, Online
2018         Downtown Durham’s Evolution from Dangerous to Hip, The Independent, UK  

Invited Lectures and Presentations
2023        On Contentious Ground, Lecture, Invited by Brett Schenning, Limestone University, Gaffney, SC. October 27
                  Critique, Invited by Bretty Schenning, Limestone University Gaffney, SC. October 27
                  On Contentious Ground, In Conversation with Tom Rankin, Frederick Jameson Gallery, Duke University, Durham,
                   NC
2022        Making Documentary, Invited by Dr. Katie Hyde, Center for Documentary Studies, Duke University, Durham, NC        
2020        The Disappearing Family, Center for Documentary Studies, Duke University, Durham, NC

Writing and Reviews
2023        Riley Goodman’s From Yonder Wooded Hill, Fall Line Press, Float Photography Magazine
                   Untitled, Poem, Home Is Where, Float Photography Magazine
                  Cristina Velasquez’ Vitterbo, Kris Graves Projects, Float Photography Magazine
2022        Shane Rocheleau’s Lakeside, Gnomic Books, Float Photography Magazine
                  Alex Harris’ Our Strange New Land, Yoffy Press, Float Photography Magazine
 
Grants | Awards | Honors
2024         Lucie Foundation - Heritage - B/W Finalist, On Contentious Ground, Los Angeles, CA
2023         PhotoLucida Critical Mass Finalist, On Contentious Ground, Portland, OR
2022         Dean’s Research Award, Duke University, Durham, NC
                   MFA | EDA Travel Grant, Duke University, Durham, NC
2021          Dean’s Research Award, Duke University, Durham, NC
                   What Is Good Art, Third Place, Kenan Institute for Ethics, Durham, NC
                   MFA | EDA Travel Grant, Duke University, Durham, NC

Collections
Rubenstein Rare Books and Manuscripts Library, Duke University, Durham, NC
Tufts Museum of Fine Art Special Collections Library, Tufts University, Boston, MA
Limestone University Library, Limestone University, Gaffney, SC

Press | Portfolio Features | Interviews
2024        On Contentious Ground, Human Narratives, ARTDOC Magazine, Issue 2, 2024
                  Flash Fiction, Musée Magazine
2023        Vann Thomas Powell: On Contentious Ground, LENSCRATCH (Interviewed by Epiphany Knedler)
                  Points of Entry Book Review, Float Magazine (By Dana Stirling)
2021-       Vann Thomas Powell and Stan Sussina - Photo Conversation, A New Nothing
2022        Powell’s Photos Explore Landscape, History, Identity, Duke Graduate School (By Hailey Stiehl)
2021         In Conversation: Vann Powell + Cousins, Aint-Bad (Interviewed by Carson Sanders)
                  The Disappearing Family, Archival Zone - The Zone Zine
2020        Rebirth of Tragedy, Float Photography Magazine
2020        Some Time Ago East of Here, Aint-Bad (By Carson Sanders)

Experience
2024-                   Photography Instructor, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC
                              (Intro to Digital Photography, Large Format 4x5)
2024-                   Digital Image Technician, North Carolina Musuem of Art, Raleigh, NC
2022-2023         Digital Image Specialist, Perkins Library, Duke University, Durham, NC
2022                     Teacher Assistant, Doc Studies 101/Children and the Experience of Illness, Duke University, Durham, NC
2022                     Artist Assistant, Harlan Campbell, Tin-Type Alternative Process, Durham, NC
2021                      Artist Assistant, Elizabeth Stone, Cassilhaus, Chapel Hill, NC
2020-2021          Archivist, Ingersoll Family, Raleigh, NC
2017-                     Principal Photographer, Vann Powell Studios, Durham, NC

Certifications
2023        Certificate in College Teaching, Duke University, Durham, NC
2020        Certificate in Documentary Photography, Center for Documentary Studies, Duke University, Durham, NC
2011          TEFL Certificate, The Language House, Prague, CZ