Amy Elkins

Amy Elkins is a visual artist and educator based in Berkeley and Sacramento, CA. 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, 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 traceably born on Tongva/Gabrielino land in the greater Los Angeles area with the ancestral blood of both colonized and colonizer.  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 is in library collections at Notre Dame Library, Cleveland Art Museum, High Museum, the Metropolitan Museum, and more.

- Parting Words, Field Projects. May 16 - June 20th
- 2023-2025 Fleishhacker Foundation Eureka Fellow
- 2023-2024 Kala Media Arts Fellowship
- My second Monograph: Anxious Pleasures is still available
Published by Kris Graves Projects
472 pages / 377 images / First Edition, limited to 400 copies
- Images from Black is the Day, Black is the Night are included in
A Long Arc: Photography and the American South Since 1845
Published by Aperture Foundation