Shanna Merola is a visual artist, photojournalist, and legal worker. Her sculptural photo-collages are informed by the stories of environmental justice struggles past and present. Travelling to EPA designated Superfund sites, she has documented the slow violence of deregulation – from her own neighborhood on the Eastside of Detroit, to Chicago’s Altgeld Gardens, and Love Canal, NY. Merola lives in Detroit, MI where she facilitates Know-Your-Rights workshops for grassroots organizations through the National Lawyers Guild.

Merola has been awarded studio residencies and fellowships through MacDowell, the Studios at MASS MoCA, Banff Centre for Arts + Creativity, Kala Institute of Art, the Society for Photographic Education, Bulk Space, the Puffin Foundation, the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund, and the Virginia Museum of Fine Art. Her collaborative projects include Detroit Resists: A Digital Occupation of the U.S. Pavilion at the Venice Biennale (2016), Oil + Water: Photography in the Age of Disaster Economies (2017) and Reunioning with Halima Afi Cassells, and the Restorying Agency Project (2021). She has shown her work in solo exhibitions both nationally and abroad - most recently at the Czong Institute for Contemporary Art in South Korea. Merola has held teaching appointments at Cranbrook Academy of Art, Wayne State University, and the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, Michigan. She is currently a Lecturer in the Department of Art Practice at UC Berkeley in California.


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