Shanna Merola is a visual artist, photojournalist, and legal worker. In addition to her studio practice, she has been a human rights observer during political uprisings across the country – from the struggle for water rights in Detroit and Flint, Michigan, to the frontlines of Ferguson, MO and Standing Rock, ND. Her collages and constructed landscapes are informed by these events. Merola lives in Detroit, MI where she facilitates Know-Your-Rights workshops and coordinates legal support 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, the Puffin Foundation, 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 Cassells, Planet Detroit, 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.


Using Format