Shanna Merola is a visual artist, photographer, 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 has been awarded studio residencies through MacDowell, Banff Centre for Arts + Creativity, the Studios at MASS MoCA, Foundation House, and Kala Institute of Art. She has received fellowships and grants through the Kresge Arts Foundation, Society for Photographic Education, the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund, Generator Arts Accelerator, the Puffin Foundation, Bulk Space, and the Virginia Museum of Fine Art. Her collaborative projects and public interventions 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 with Kate Levy (2017) Reunioning with Halima Afi Cassells (2019) and Swan Song with Halima Afi Cassells at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (2022-2023). Merola has shown her work in solo exhibitions both nationally and abroad at the Czong Institute for Contemporary Art in South Korea. She has held teaching appointments at Cranbrook Academy of Art, Wayne State University, the College for Creative Studies, and in the Department of Art Practice at UC Berkeley in California.


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