Carolyn DeMeritt
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Carolyn DeMeritt
Charlotte, NC


Biography

A native of Charlotte, NC, I'm a self-taught photographer and videographer who has worked at my craft for over 30 years.  I have participated in numerous solo and invitational exhibitions across the country and internationally.  My work is included in many museums and corporate and private collections including the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington DC, the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh, NC, the Mint Museum of Art in Charlotte, NC, and the Bank of America collection.  Through the years, while focusing on the development of my own visual messages and photographic techniques, I have collaborated with other artists to bring to the public an awareness of certain groups of people who reside in the shadows but whose strength and perseverance should be celebrated.  One of these, Just As I Am (with Stuart Grasberg), a video of an AIDS activist’s death, was nominated for an Emmy Award.

Artist Statement


I believe, as most artists do, that I'm driven to create, often without a clear understanding of why, or what the work is 'about', until after the fact.  The surprises keep me going.  I feel that, through my work, I'm seeking answers to unasked questions and my artwork is an attempt to engage others in the conversation.  But ultimately, the work is the statement and must stand or fall on its own.

While my work stretches from landscapes to portraits, there is a common thread.  Through it all, there is a personal interaction with my subjects and, be they people or places, they reflect both the dramatic and subtle changes of life.

Selected Reviews

"A precipitous balance between the eye of the sitter and the controlling eye of the photographer charges the work of Carolyn DeMeritt.  Portraiture presents important challenges and there is little room for compromise. DeMeritt achieves power in restraint, makes discoveries in people and great photographs of their spiritual and corporal selves."  Ken Bloom, curator, on DeMeritt's Portraiture

"The single small detail captures DeMeritt's eye - a broken, weathered statue of Christ lashed precariously to a fence, a caged bird and it's untethered mate, an outstretched skunk carcass melting into the earth as it decays.  Her sharply focused, small-scale images are carefully distilled from a larger, unwieldy field of vision.  They assume a symbolic presence, as DeMeritt empties out the greater confusion of the world.  She looks intently at things that often go unnoticed, and sees them with a breathless sense of stillness and of portent.  She savors details, which for her become microcosms and at times talismans.  DeMeritt rarely monumentalizes her subject.  Instead, she portrays a world of modesty and fragility."  Susan Krane, curator, on A Tangle of Complexes: Photographing in Mexico.

"Frye Gaillard in words and Carolyn DeMeritt with images have filled a broad gap in our knowledge of tribes in the southern and eastern United States, past and present.  Especially absorbing are the accounts of little-known but important peoples whose ancestors escaped removal to the west."  Dee Brown, author of Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee.


 Selected Awards


1998      National Endowment for the Arts Exhibition Support Grant
             Z. Smith Reynolds Exhibition Support Grant
             Bank of America Publication and Exhibition Support Grant
1996      North Carolina FilmMakers Award, Charlotte Film/Video
1995      North Carolina FilmMakers Award, Charlotte Film/Video
1993      Visual Artist Fellowship, North Carolina Arts Council
1992      Visual Artist Project Grant, North Carolina Arts Council
             North Carolina FilmMakers Award, Charlotte Film/Video
             Southeast Media Fellowship, Appalshop, Whitesburg, Kentucky
             Best Short Documentary Award, Athens Film/Video, Athens, Ohio
1990      Emerging Artist Grant, Charlotte Arts and Science Council


Selected Public Collections

The National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA
North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, NC
High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA
Levine Museum of the New South, Charlotte, NC
Mint Museum of Art, Charlotte, NC
St. John’s Museum of Art, Wilmington, NC
Asheville Art Museum, Asheville, NC
New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM
North Carolina Arts Council, Raleigh, NC
Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, LLP, Raleigh, NC
Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, Winston-Salem, NC
Goodrich Corporate Office, Charlotte, NC
Sandoz Chemicals, Charlotte, NC
Fidelity Investments, Boston, MA
Federal Reserve Bank, Charlotte, NC
Wells Fargo Collection, Charlotte, NC
Bank of America Corporate Center Collection, Charlotte, NC
Ritz Carlton, Charlotte, NC
Levine Children's Hospital, Charlotte, NC


Selected Solo Exhibitions


2004      Levine Museum of the New South, Charlotte, NC
2003      Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA
2002      Hodges Taylor Gallery, Charlotte, NC
2001      Hollins University, Roanoke, VA
2000      Native American Resource Center, UNC, Pembroke, NC
             St. John’s Museum of Art, Wilmington, NC
1999      The Light Factory, Charlotte, NC
             Center for Creative Leadership, Greensboro, NC
             Center of the Earth Gallery, Charlotte, NC
1996      Asheville Art Museum, Asheville, NC
             Virginia Intermont College, Bristol, VA
1993      Atlanta Photography Gallery, Atlanta, GA
1991      Southern Light Gallery, Amarillo, TX


Selected Invitational or Group Exhibitions


2016      SOCO Gallery, Charlotte, NC
             The Galleries, Cabarrus Arts Council, Concord, NC
2015      Atlanta Photography Group, Atlanta, GA 
2014      North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, NC
             The Galleries, Cabarrus Arts Council, Concord, NC
             Babson Capital, Charlotte, NC
             Jacksonville State University, Jacksonville, AL
             McMaster Gallery, University of SC, Columbia, SC
2013      Projective Eye Gallery, UNC Charlotte Center City, NC
2011      Women Centered Art, Charlotte, NC
2010      Mobile Museum of Art, Mobile, AL
2009      Green Hill Center for NC Art, Greensboro, NC
2007      Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, Winston Salem, NC
             Green Hill Center for NC Art, Greensboro, NC
2006      North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, NC
             Space 301, Mobile, AL
2005      Greenhill Center for North Carolina Art, Greensboro, NC
1999      Lewis Art Gallery at Millsaps College, Jackson, MS
1998      Rowe Arts Main Gallery, University of North Carolina, Charlotte, NC
1997      The Light Factory, Charlotte, NC              
             CU Art Gallery, Boulder, CO
             Nexus, Atlanta, GA
1996      Society of Contemporary Photography, Kansas City, MO
             Birmingham Art Association, Birmingham, AL
1994      Galeria Bellas Artes, Oaxaca, Mexico
             Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, Winston-Salem, NC
1993      Center for Photographic Art, Carmel, CA
1991      Center for Photography Washington, DC
             Fabrik-Foto-Forum, Hamburg, Germany
1989      National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C
                (Exhibition traveled throughout North Carolina, 1989/90)
1987      Santa Fe Center for Contemporary Photography, Santa Fe, NM                     
             Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, Winston-Salem, NC
1985      United Nations World Conference on Women, Nairobi, Kenya


Selected Video Screenings


1999      Best of North Carolina Visions, UNC-TV Chapel Hill, NC,
1997      San Francisco International G/L Film Festival, San Francisco, CA
1996      One World Screen Fest, Vancouver, Canada
             North Carolina Visions, UNC-TV Chapel Hill, NC
             Charlotte Film and Video Festival, Charlotte, NC  
1995      American Cultural Festival, Schwerin, Mecklenburg, Germany
             International Women’s Summit, Seoul, Korea
             North Carolina Visions, UNC-TV Chapel Hill, NC
             Charlotte Film and Video Festival, NC
1994      Black Maria Film Festival, New York, NY
             WTVI-42, Charlotte, NC
             Video Shorts, Department of Art and Humanities, U of T, Dallas, TX
             Social Outcast Film &Video Festival, Atlanta, GA
1992      Charlotte Film and Video Festival, Charlotte, NC
             Athens Film and Video Festival, Athens, OH    
             Community Cinema Program, Bravo Network and Cablevision of
                 Charlotte, NC


Selected Special Projects

2015       Photographed 11 Families for Levine Children's Hospital Wall of Hope, Charlotte, NC
2013       Presenting Artist, Society of Photographic Educators, SE Regional Conference
2005-06  Consultant for Families of Abraham, a photography exhibition
              examining three world religions through Charlotte, NC families.
1996-98  Produced seventy-two portraits for the book As Long As The Waters Flow:
              Native Americans in the South and East
, by Frye Gaillard, Blair Publishers.
1995       Produced A Change of Face, a photographic installation with text and a
              twenty-eight minute video program, Give Me My Flowers, that combined
              my black and white portraits with my audio interviews of women affected
              by HIV/AIDS.  Commissioned by the YWCA of Central Carolinas, funded
              by the Nalle Clinic.
1993       Co-produced, co-directed, assisted in filming (with Stuart Grasberg) Just
              As I Am
.  This video of an AIDS activist’s death, commissioned by Hospice
              of Rowan County with technical assistance from WTVI-42 Public
              Television, was nominated for an Emmy Award.
1992       Co-curated, (with Hodges Taylor Gallery), the Bank of America Corporate
              Center Photography Collection.
1991       Produced When I Was Little…I Thought I Could Fly, a video program
              combining my portraits of young girls with my audio interviews of them as
              they expressed their feelings about emerging womanhood.  
1987       Worked as one of three photographers on Miracle on 19th Street, Jimmy
              Carter Work Project
for Habitat for Humanity.



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