Nancy Edelstein is a conceptual fine art photographer whose work explores the idea of memory, object and meaning. Earning a BFA from the University of Michigan, Edelstein continued her studies under the guidance of Lucas Samaras, Marie Cosindas, Mary Ellen Mark, Keith Carter, Cig Harvey and others. After an extensive career as art director in an advertising firm for the fashion industry, she turned her interest to custom book design, creating one of a kind volumes for prominent families and corporations. For the past six years she has devoted herself to projects combining her passion for both photography and design. Her work has been been shown across the country since 2001.
Nancy lives and works in Seattle, Washington.
My work revolves around imagery and stories from the past, and is often seen as being about family, but that is not my primary intention. I am actually interested in the idea of memory; what happens, and what we make it mean. I am also interested in the role objects play in the preservation of these interpreted moments. In my work, I aim to have my images and shared story ignite a spark in others to look deeper for their own forgotten stories, waiting to be told.
I often begin a project with a curiosity in a new photographic concept that is in sync with my current concerns and subject. My greatest thrill is to see where this takes me. I want to make work that touches the humanity in others and brings us together.
My current project, Friday Night Dinners, began as I photographed and documented the set of dishes I inherited from my grandmother. Long forgotten memories of family moments surfaced as I began to shoot close-up images of the exquisite porcelain details. I was inspired to abstract them in a variety of ways. Many were printed on vellum pages, with some sandwiched together and reshot through a light box, creating unique, softly layered compositions. Further exploration expanded my direction from there. This work has evolved into both a series of fine art images as well as an artist’s handmade book of the same name.
2018 - Month of Photography Los Angeles, Photo Book Exhibition, Lucie Foundation, Venice Arts, April
2018 - 8th Annual Self Published Photobook Show, Griffin Museum of Photography, Winchester, Massachusetts (Curated by Karen Davis and Paula Tognarelli), March
2017 - 8th Annual Self-Published Photobook Show, Davis Orton Gallery, Hudson, New York (Curated by Karen Davis and Paula Tognarelli)
2017 - FRESH: Fifteen Photographers, Los Angeles Center of Photography, Personal Projects from the Aline Smithson Workshop
2016 - Night Photography: Dusk to Dawn, PhotoPlace Gallery, Middlebury, Vermont (Juror Lance Keimig)
2016 - Out of the Woods: Fairy Tales Re-Imagined, Wood Sentries Gallery, Somerville, Massachusetts (Curated by Boriana Kantcheva and Micah Eglinton-Woods)
2016 - Griffin Museum, 22 Juried Show Blog Exhibition, Winchester, Massachusetts (Curated by Paula Tognarelli)
2016 - PH21 Gallery, Juried Competition - Honorable Mention, Budapest, Hungary (Juror Zsolt Batori)
2016 - Women's Works Show, Nave Gallery, Woodstock, Illinois
2015 - Friday Night Dinners, Studio J, Seattle, Washington
2015 - 2nd Photographic Competition, Peter Miller Fine Art, Providence, Rhode Island (Juror Paula Tognarelli)
2007 - Oxacan Portraits, Arosa, Seattle, Washington
2005 - Photography 4th Image Biennial Exhibition, Wellington Gray Gallery, North Carolina (Juror Maggie Taylor)
2004 - Visual Proof, Photographic Center Northwest 9th Annual Competition - Honorable Mention, Seattle, Washington (Juror Roy Flukinger)
2002 - Time, Space and the Image, Group Exhibition, Side Show Gallery, Seattle, Washington
2001 - Pacific Northwest Annual Exhibition, Bellevue Art Museum, Bellevue, Washington (Juror Sue Spaid)
Bailey-Boushay House Collection, Seattle, Washington
1979 - 1995 Principal - Edelstein Associates Advertising
2011 - 2015 Principal - Biographica Custom Book Design
Current: MFA Program MICA, 2018-2021
BFA - University of Michigan - 1973
Photographic Center Northwest, 1999 - 2006
Lucas Samaras, Marie Cosindas, ICP New York, Venezia '79
Mary Ellen Mark, Oaxaca, Mexico - 2005 / 2006
ICP New York, Bejing - 2009
Santa Fe Photographic Workshops
Cig Harvey - The Personal Photographic Image - 2012
Aline Smithson - Photographing with Intention - 2014
Los Angeles Photographic Center Workshops
Aline Smithson - The Personal Project - 2017