About

Jeanine Michna-Bales is an artist activist working in the medium of photography. Her work explores the relationships between what has occurred, or is occurring, in a society and how people react to those events. She meticulously researches each topic — considering different viewpoints, causes and effects, and political climates — and often incorporates found or archival text and audio into her projects. Thus, creating projects that spark conversations on the various sociopolitical topics. 

Whether exploring the darkened stations along the Underground Railroad, long-forgotten nuclear fallout shelters, or the invisible epicenters of environmental turmoil, her work seeks out places that are hidden in plain sight, each with its own story begging to be told and lessons waiting to be shared.

Michna-Bales's photography has been exhibited throughout the United States. Her work has earned numerous awards and has been featured in many online blogs and publications, including the UK Daily Mail, The New York Times Lens Blog, In Sight by The Washington Post, Lenscratch, and Wired Raw File.

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SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2017        Through Darkness to Light; CENTER at photo-eye Bookstore + Project Space; Santa Fe, NM; Jun. 2nd - Jul. 15th
                Through Darkness to Light; Jefferson School African-American Heritage Center; Charlottesville, VA; Mar. 21st - Jun. 30th
                Through Darkness to Light; Photographs Do Not Bend; Dallas, TX
                Through Darkness to Light; Arnika Dawkins Gallery; Atlanta, GA

2016        Two Projects: An Overview; PhotoNOLA Portfolio Review Prize; New Orleans Photo Alliance Gallery; New Orleans, LA

2015        Through Darkness to Light; Denison Museum; Granville, OH

TRAVELING EXHIBITIONS

2017 - 2022    Through Darkness to Light; The Underground Railroad: Photographs of a Path to Freedom; Mid-America Arts Alliance
                        Evanston History Center and Evanston Art Center; Evanston, IL; Jan. 28th - Mar. 16th, 2017
                        Fort Smith Regional Art Museum; Fort Smith, AR; Apr. 7th - May 28th, 2017
                        Griot Museum of Black History; St. Louis, MO; Jun. 23rd - Aug. 11th, 2017
                        Wyandotte County Historical Society & Museum; Bonner Springs, KS; Sept. 1st - Oct. 20th, 2017
                        Ontario Museum of History and Art; Ontario, CA; Nov. 10th, 2017 - Jan. 7th, 2018
                        Texarkana Regional Arts Center; Texarkana, TX; Jan. 28th - Mar. 16th, 2018
                        Panola College; Carthage, TX; Apr. 6th - May 25th, 2018
                        Portsmouth Art and Cultural Center; Portsmouth, VA; Jun. 16th - Oct. 20th, 2018
                        Alexandria Black History Museum; Alexandria, VA; Jan. 28th - Mar. 16th, 2019
                        West Baton Rouge Museum; Port Allen, LA; Apr. 6th - May 25th, 2019
                        Delta Cultural Center; Helena, AR; Jun. 16th - Aug. 11th, 2019
                        Canton Museum of Art; Canton, OH; Sept. 1st - Oct. 20th, 2019
                        Gorman Discovery Center; Kansas City, MO; Nov. 10th - Jan. 7th, 2020
                        Upcountry History Museum; Greenville, SC; Jan. 28th - May 25th, 2020
                        Bell County Museum; Belton, TX; Sept. 1st - Oct. 20th, 2020

GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2018        Through Darkness to Light; Southbound: Photographs of and about the New South, Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art,
                College of Charleston, Charleston, SC

2016        Frack-tured; Perspectives; Longview Museum of Fine Arts; Longview, TX
                Through Darkness to Light; Moving Walls 23: Journeys; Open Society Foundations; Washington D.C.

2015        Frack-tured; Newspace Now: 2015 Members’ Salon; Newspace Center for Photography; Portland, OR
                Through Darkness to Light; Critical Mass Top 50; GuatePhoto International Photography Festival; Antigua, Guatemala
                Through Darkness to Light; Moving Walls 23: Journeys; Open Society Foundations; New York, NY
                Through Darkness to Light; Southern Exposure: Portraits of a Changing Landscape; MOCA | Jacksonville, FL 

2014        Fallout; 2014 Atomic STEaM Photography Show; The National Museum of Nuclear Science & History; Albuquerque, NM
                Through Darkness to Light; Newspace Now: 2014 Members’ Salon; Newspace Center for Photography; Portland, OR        
                Through Darkness to Light; The Curve; CENTER Awards Traveling Show; Colorado Photographic Arts Center; Denver, CO        
                Through Darkness to Light and Fallout; 32nd Annual Juried Membership Exhibition; Juror Malcolm Daniel; Houston Center
                for Photography; Houston, TX        
                Through Darkness to Light; Photowork ‘14; Juror Karen Haas; The Barrett Art Center; Poughkeepsie, NY        
                Through Darkness to Light; The Curve; CENTER Award Winners Show; Center for Contemporary Arts; Santa Fe, NM
                Through Darkness to Light; NOPA Member’s Exhibition; New Orleans Photo Alliance; New Orleans, LA

COLLECTIONS

Archive of Documentary Arts at Duke University; Museum of Fine Arts | Houston – gift from Joan Morgenstern;
and Various Private Collections

BOOKS

2017        Through Darkness to Light: Photographs Along the Underground Railroad; Trade Publication; Princeton Architectural Press;
                April 2017

2016        THREE PROJECTS: An Overview; Self-Published; Edition One Books; Dec. 2016

SELECTED AWARDS

2016        Through Darkness to Light; 2016 Archive of Documentary Arts Collection Award: Documentarians of The American South;
                Duke University

 2015       2015 PhotoNOLA Review Prize; First Place; New Orleans Photo Alliance; New Orleans, LA
                Through Darkness to Light; 2015 Lange-Taylor Prize Semifinalist; Center for Documentary Studies; Duke University

2014        Through Darkness to Light; 2014 CDS/Honickman First Book Prize Finalist; Center for Documentary Studies; Duke University
                Critical Mass Top 50; Photolucida; Portland, OR
                Through Darkness to Light; 2014 Lange-Taylor Prize Semifinalist; Center for Documentary Studies; Duke University        
                Beth Block Juried Membership Honoraria; Juror Malcolm Daniel; Houston Center for Photography
                Review Santa Fe Scholarship Recipient; CENTER; (Juried Review)
                
Through Darkness to Light; CENTER 2014 Choice Award Winner; First Place, Gallerist’s Choice; Juror Steffi Schulze

PUBLICATIONS

2017        pdn Magazine; How to Publish Your Book: The Underground Railroad by Night; May 2017
                Photograph Magazine; Jeanine Michna-Bales: Through Darkness to Light at Arnika Dawkins Gallery; Mar/Apr 2017
                O, The Oprah Magazine ; Through Darkness to Light in The Gratitude Meter Section; Volume 18 Issue 02; Feb 2017
                Virginia Quarterly Review; Through Darkness to Light: Visions of the Underground Railroad; Winter 2017

2016        Wordt ver volgd; Amnesty International; Picture of the Month; Volume 49 Issue 03; Mar 2016

2015        Transition Magazine; Harvard University; Bras-Coupé; Issue 117; 2015
                Spot Magazine; Houston Center for Photography; Spotlight; Spring 2015

2014        Geo Histoire Magazine; La Grande Évasion; Dec 2014 - Jan 2015

SELECTED PRESS | ONLINE

2017        PasaTiempo | Santa Fe New Mexican; Dark Night of the Soul: Photographing the Underground Railroad; June 2nd
                American Photography’s Pro Photo Daily; BOOKS: Visualizing the Dangers and Hopes of the Underground Railroad; May 29th
                Musée Magazine; Book Review: Through Darkness to Light; May 1st
                Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette; Walking the Walk: Photographer Traces Route of the Underground Railroad; April 14th
                Hyperallergic; Photos Evoke the Terror and Hope of the Underground Railroad; April 28th
                UK Daily Mail; The Perilous Journey to Freedom: First pictures inside the ‘Underground Railroad’; April 8th
                New York Times Lens Blog; From Slavery to Freedom: Revealing the Underground Railroad; March, 29th
                Charlottesville Podcast Network–HomeGrown; Shipwrecked! and The Jefferson School African American Heritage Center;        
                
March 26th
                Burnaway; Art Review: Searching for the Underground Railroad: Jeanine Michna-Bales at Arnika Dawkins Gallery; March 21st
                Dallas Morning News; Fear and Wonder Hold Equal Footing in Artist’s Photographs of the Underground Railroad; March, 16th
                Los Angeles Times; A Powerful Symbol of Resistance, the Underground Railroad Inspires a Wave of Books, Plays TV and More, 
                
March 16th
                F-Stop; Book Review: Through Darkness to Light by Jeanine Michna-Bales; February 25th
                Glasstire; A Conversation with Jeanine Michna-Bales; February 11th
                L’oeil de la Photographie | The Eye of Photography; Through Darkness to Light; February 9th
                WABE 90.1 Atlanta’s NPR Station; City Lights with Lois Reitzes; February 7th
                CityLab from The Atlantic; Capturing the View Along the Underground Railroad; February 1st
                Chicago Tribune; From the Community: “Through Darkness to Light...”: An Exhibit; January 26th

2016        Lenscratch; Art + Science: Jeanine Michna-Bales; Oct 8th
                NBC4 Washington D.C.; Journey to Freedom: Commemorating Black History Month; Mar 10th
                Blink from Vantage; To Photograph People Not as Victims, But as Agents of Change; Feb 15th
                In Sight by The Washington Post; What It Was Like to Walk in the Shoes of America’s Slaves; Feb 1st

2015        PDN Photo of the Day; Decisition to Leave from Through Darkness to Light; Dec 30th
                WJCT Radio; American South Gets Portrait Taken in MOCA’s ‘Southern Exposure’ Photography Show; May 18th

2014        Fstoppers; ‘From Darkness to Light’ Documents Journey from Slavery to Freedom Along the Underground Railroad; Dec 26th
                The Dish; Shining Light On The Underground Railroad; Jan 19th
                Feature Shoot; Riveting Photos Trace the Historic Underground Railroad at Night; Sept 30th
                A Photo Editor; The Best Work I Saw at Review Santa Fe ‘14; Sept 2nd
                Canada AM; Photographing the Underground Railroad; Jul 16th
                Wired Raw File; Haunting Underground Railroad Images Retrace the Steps of Fleeing Slaves; Jul 10th
                Wired Raw File; This is Where Americans Planned to Spend the Nuclear Holocaust; Jun 4th
                Lenscratch; The CENTER Awards: Gallerist’s Choice 1st Place Winner: Jeanine Michna-Bales; May 20th

Artist Talk for TWO PROJECTS: An Overview at The New Orleans Photo Alliance Gallery during PhotoNOLA 2016.

Artist Talk for TWO PROJECTS: An Overview at The New Orleans Photo Alliance Gallery during PhotoNOLA 2016.

VISITING ARTIST | LECTURES | TALKS

2017        Opening, Artist Talk and Family Workshop; Griot Museum of Black History; St. Louis, MO; Jun 23rd - 24th
                Visiting Artist; Texas Women’s University Graduate Photography Class; June 7th
                Visiting Artist; University of North Texas Photography Classes; February 28th
               Opening and Artist Talk; Arnika Dawkins Gallery; Atlanta, GA; Feb 3rd
                Opening and Artist Talk; Photographs Do Not Bend Gallery; Dallas, TX; Feb 18th
                Artist Talk; Sheldon Peck Homestead | Lombard Historical Society; Lombard, IL; Feb 22nd
                Artist Talk; Evanston History Center; Evanston, IL; Feb 23rd
                Artist Talk; Evanston Art Center; Evanston, IL; Feb 23rd
                Artist Talk, School Lectures; Virginia Festival of the Book; Ma. 22nd - 25th

2016        Artist Talk; New Orleans Photo Alliance Gallery; New Orleans, LA

2015        Press Panel Discussion and Artist Talk; Open Society Foundations; New York, NY
                Artist Talk and Visiting Artist Guest Lecturer; Denison Museum and Denison University; Granville, OH

2014        Artist Talk; The Curve Group Exhibition; CENTER Awards Traveling Show; Colorado Photographic Arts Center; Denver, CO
                Artist Talk; 32nd Annual Juried Membership Exhibition; Houston Center for Photography; Houston, TX
                Artist Talk; Review Santa Fe; CENTER; Santa Fe, NM

REVIEWS AND FESTIVALS

2017        Filter Photo Portfolio Review Participant; Chicago, IL (upcoming Sept. 2017)
               Through Darkness to Light; Virginia Festival of the Book Selected Author; Charlottesville, VA; Mar. 21st - 25th

2016        FotoFest Portfolio Review Participant; Houston, TX

2015        PhotoNOLA Portfolio Review Participant; New Orleans, LA

2014        PhotoNOLA Portfolio Review Participant; New Orleans, LA
                Review Santa Fe 100; CENTER; Santa Fe, NM (Juried Review)    
                FotoFest Portfolio Review Participant; Houston, TX

2013        PhotoNOLA Portfolio Review Participant; New Orleans, LA

© 2017 Jeanine Michna-Bales