Monica Jane Frisell is an analog photographer and artist originally from Seattle, WA. They spent their early career in New York, where they attended monthly critiques with world renowned photographer Ralph Gibson, and continued to hone in on their black and white analog skills. At 25 Frisell moved back to Seattle where they worked at a professional photo lab as a black and white fine art printer and film processor. During this period, they also assisted Pulitzer Prize winning photographer Daniel Sheehan. In 2013, they were awarded a residency at the Vermont Studio Center and in 2014, Frisell returned to the Center as the Visual Arts Coordinator for a year long position managing 45 artists each month. In 2016, Frisell completed their BFA in Photography at The Evergreen State College, Olympia,WA.
Their most recent ehxibitions include a collaborative show with painter Carole d’Inverno, Perceptions, at the Jazz Gallery, New York, NY 2020; a group show Interconnected, Slavery in the Past, Present and Future, Refugee Art Project, Sydney, Australia. 2019; Looking Forward: Portraits from an RV (work from America Is,) SUNY Monroe College, Rochester, NY. 2017; Looking Forward Portraits from an RV (work from America Is,) Black Lab Gallery, Everett, WA. 2017; Out of the Shadows: Portraits of Domestic Workers, University of Technology Sydney in collaboration with Anti-Slavery Australia and the Konica Minolta Head Office, Sydney, Australia. 2015. This traveling exhibit has also been shown in Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia. 2016; and the Australian Catholic University, Brisbane, Australia. 2015; Laundromat Portraits, Window 125 in collaboration with The Vermont Studio Center, New York City, NY. 2015
Frisell often says they are a collector of faces and stories. Frisells’ work blends elements of fine art with documentary and storytelling to bring to life stories that may otherwise be lost or deemed unnecessary. Using predominantly analog materials, such as an 8×10 Kodak Master film camera, helps bring more intentionality to every photograph in this fast paced world. In early 2021, Frisell finished building a fully self-contained photographic darkroom and studio in a 7×12 foot trailer, now known as The Ark. In June of 2021, Frisell along with Scher started to traverse the country, gathering stories and images of people and places, creating a living and evolving document of this country today for their ongoing project Portrait of US. Frisell and Scher work as a team, Frisell photographs environments and people, and Scher gathers audio in order to create these documents.
Adam Scher grew up in Seattle, WA. He started cycling long distances by bike in his early 20s. He fell in love with travel during his first long bike trip from Seattle to San Diego in 2011. In 2014, Scher biked 3 full months across Europe, from Belgium to Portugal, writing daily observations into an online journal and photographing. In 2015 he completed the Adventure Cycling Association leadership training course. That same year, Scher was involved in a cycling accident that forced him to stop traveling for a full year of recovery. When he was able to cycle again, he decided to push himself and biked alone through the US South, testing his own abilities as a solo traveller.
Scher finds the open road a constant inspiration. While traveling alone he has to find his way through unusual situations. He has become very resourceful and independent on the road. In early 2020, during the initial lockdown of Covid, Scher looked to find artistic inspiration in other ways. He took various printmaking classes at North Seattle Community College and continued to make photographs on his vintage 35mm film cameras.
Meeting Monica Jane Frisell in early 2021, Scher found himself with an opportunity to live nomadically. He is now working more within the audio and photographic mediums. His earlier experience at KNHC, a highschool run public radio station in Seattle, and his education at Lake Washington Institute of Technology, have given him the technical knowledge of recording. His keen understanding of both visual and audio storytelling tools, allows him to create positive and informative interviews. Scher’s artistic inspirations come from the road and meeting new people. He is forever inspired by new landscapes, discovering the history of different places and exploring what has not yet been seen. In collaboration with Frisell, they are working on A Portrait of US, a series of portraits and interviews taken on the road. His edited recordings bring an added layer to the photos taken by Frisell, creating a full and intimate portrayal of those they meet in their travels. Their ongoing project is a living document of our time.