Colleen Plumb


p r o j e c t s

     Animals Are Outside Today

    Towards the Sky Again

    How the Sky and Water Attach
    at the End of the Sea




   Thirty Times a Minute

   Path Infinitum

   Invisible Visible

   Surveilling Snow Lily



books + limited editions

cv / bio







Columbia College Chicago, Photography Department, 1999-present

Guest Lecture, RIT Graduate Seminar, Contemporary Issues: Expanded Photography, 2021
Panel Discussion, Oolite Arts, Miami, FL, September 2021
Lecture, TCU Sustainability, Fort Worth, Texas, 2021
Speaker, McMaster Museum of Art, Animals Across Discipline, Time & Space, Hamilton, Ontario, 2020
Public Lecture, Museum of Art Fort Collins / Colorado State University, 2018
Artist lecture, Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts Conference, Toronto, 2018
Speaker, Performing Animals Welfare Society Captive Wildlife Conference, Los Angeles, 2018
Lecture, Displace: Public Video Projections + Animal Spectatorship, Columbia College Chicago, Faculty
     Showcase, 2018
Speaker, FOZE International Conference and Film Festival, Portland OR, 2018
Artist lecture, College of DuPage, Glen Ellyn, IL, 2017
Class lecture, University of Illinois, Urbana, 2017
Panel Discussion and Screening, Facets Cinema, Kevin Schneider / Nonhuman Rights Project, Chicago, 2017
Visiting Artist, Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, MI, 2016
Panel discussion with Center for Humans and Nature, David Weinberg Gallery, Chicago, 2015
Public lecture, Portland State University, Portland, OR, 2015
Class lecture, School of the Art Institute, Chicago, 2015
Artist in residence, Cooley Memorial Gallery, Reed College, Portland, OR, 2015
Panel discussion, Printer's Row Lit Fest, Chicago, 2012
Public lecture, Milwaukee Art Museum, April 2011
Featured speaker, Society for Photographic Education (SPE) Conference, Kalamazoo, MI, 2010
Visiting artist, Marwen Foundation, Chicago, 2009
Freelance Graphic Design, Liska & Associates, VSA Partners, Source, Inc., Chicago, 1995-2006
Graphic Designer, McMillan Associates, 1992-1995


2021   Roman Susan, Chicago, IL, Surveilling Snow Lily
2021   Riverside Art Center, Riverside, IL, Invisible Visible
2020   McCormick Gallery, Chicago, IL, Thirty Times a Minute
2015   Blue Sky Oregon Center for the Photographic Arts, Animals Are Outside Today and
               Thirty Times a Minute
2014   The Screening Room, Miami, FL, Thirty Times a Minute
2014   Dina Mitrani Gallery, Miami, FL, Towards the Sky Again
2012   Brushwood Center at Ryerson Woods, Riverwoods, IL, Animals Are Outside Today
2012   Union League Club of Chicago, Animals Are Outside Today
2011   Radius, Santa Fe, NM, Animals Are Outside Today
2011   Dina Mitrani Gallery, Miami, Animals Are Outside Today
2011   Jen Bekman Gallery, NY, Animals Are Outside Today
2009   City Gallery, Historic Water Tower, Chicago, IL, Animals Are Outside Today
2009   Center for Fine Art Photography, Fort Collins, CO, Urban Nature
2007   Notebaert Nature Museum, Chicago, IL, Urban Nature

/ public video projections of Thirty Times a Minute

2020: Hamilton, Ontario
2019: Worcester and Cambridge, MA
2018: Reykjavik, Iceland; Los Angeles, CA; Portland, OR; Fort Collins and Denver, CO; Joshua Tree, CA
2017: Toronto, Ontario; Rochester, Syracuse, NY; Philadelphia, PA; Washington, D.C.; Cleveland, OH
2016: Detroit, MI; Santa Fe and Cerillos, NM; Berlin, Germany; Vienna and Melk, Austria; Paris, France;
           New York, NY
2015: 17 locations in Portland, OR; Grand Teton National Park, WY; Victor, ID
2014: 25 locations throughout Chicago neighborhoods


Embodied Forest, Ecoartspace, curated by Lilian Fraiji, Sept. 1
The Ten Trusts
, Compassion Arts Festival, Worcester, MA
Natural Transcendence, Oolite Arts, Miami, FL
At Home
, Reuben Saunders Gallery, Wichita, KS

What Does Democracy Look Like?, Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago
Photography & ..., collaborations at Catherine Edelman Gallery, Chicago

One Thing Leads to Another, Ralph Arnold Gallery at Loyola University, and RomanSusan, Chicago
EXPO Chicago, with McCormick Gallery, Chicago

The Photography Show at AIPAD, Special Exhibition, New York, Path Infinitum, 2017
Targeted: Garret Hansen, Omar Imam, and Colleen Plumb, Catherine Edelman Gallery, Chicago
The Devil's Garden, with Marisa Anderson, Sam Coomes, and Vanessa Renwick, Portland Art Museum
Eclipse, Blue Sky Oregon Center for Photographic Arts
Infinite Games, Open House Contemporary with Rhona Hoffman Gallery, curated by John Preus

It is Only Necessary, screening, 2nd Floor Rear, Chicago
, Milwaukee, WI, screening: It is Only Necessary

Portland Art Museum, Thirty Times a Minute as part of "Next Level Fucked Up" by Vanessa Renwick
Christie's Photographs, First Open, New York

City Creatures, Notebaert Nature Museum, Chicago
Thirty Times a Minute,
Silent Funny, Chicago, Johalla Projects
Thirty Times a Minute, Activate
, Johalla Projects and Chicago Loop Alliance, Monroe alley, Chicago
SPELLS, collaboration with author Peter Rock, Blue Sky Oregon Center for the Photographic Arts
Lovsång, Joan of Arc residency film screening, The Hideout, Chicago

HOME, Dilettante Studio with John Preus, EXPO Chicago, video installation
Pant, Gallery 339, Philadelphia
Jen Bekman Gallery, New York

Stitched and Glued, Handmade Books, Riverside Arts Center, RIverside, IL, curated by Paul D'Amato

Artists for Obama, Stephen Daiter Gallery, Chicago, IL
On Making Things Matter, SHoP (Southside Hub of Production), Hyde Park, Chicago
Wildlife in the Post-Natural Age, Williamsburg Art and Historical Center, Brooklyn, NY
Toward a Union of Public Artists, SHoP, Hyde Park, Chicago

ReFraming the Feminine, Girls' Club Collection, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Pinyao International Photography Festival, Pinyao, China

Exposures II, Dina Mitrani Gallery, Miami
Art Loop Open, Block 37, Chicago, IL
Art in Bloom,
Milwaukee Art Museum
, Dina Mitrani Gallery, Miami, FL
Art Chicago, Photo-Eye Gallery, Santa Fe, NM

Mixtape, Jen Bekman Gallery, New York, NY
Mus-Mus @Paris, juried by Stephen Shore, Gil Blank and Denise Wolff
The Un-Natural Nature of Food, Fraction,
Melanie McWhorter, curator
, Southeast Museum of Photography, Daytona, FL
Colleen Plumb and Zachariah Reike, van Straaten Gallery, Denver, CO
Photo-Op, 14th Annual Exhibit, PCNW, Photographic Center Northwest, Seattle, WA
15th Juried Exhibition, Griffin Museum of Photography, Winchester, MA
Art Chicago, Riverhouse/van Straaten Gallery, Denver, CO

Hey Hot Shot, Volume I, Jen Bekman Gallery, New York, NY
Beyond the Backyard, Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, IL
19th Evanston Biennial, Evanston, IL
Photography Now, Lubeznik Center for the Arts, Michigan City, IN

Bridge Art Fair, Standard Usage Project, Miami, FL
Field Guide to the American Family, Humble Arts Foundation, Gallery Bar, NY
Power of Plants, Museum of the Earth, Ithaca, NY
Power of Plants, Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe, IL

InSight: Recent Additions to the Permanent Collection, MoCP, Chicago
New Chicago Photography, Version Fest, Iron Studios, J. Gitelson, B.Ulrich curators
Fresh StART, Santa Monica Art Studios, Arena 1 Gallery, Santa Monica, CA
Contemporary Condition, Hokin Center, curated by Paul D’Amato, Chicago
Click Art, Woman Made Gallery, curated by Whitney Bradshaw, Chicago

PROOF, SPE regional conference, George Mason Univ., Chan Chao juror, Fairfax, VA
Power of Plants, US Botanic Garden, Washington, D.C.
BIRDS 2005 International, Beijing Natural Cultural Center, China
The Chicago Project, Catherine Edelman Gallery, Chicago

Frozen in Light, Zolla/Lieberman Gallery, Chicago
Chicago Land/Space/Place, Greg Foster-Rice, Glass Curtain Gallery, Chicago

Movement, The Renaissance Society, University of Chicago
Art to Fear, ARC Gallery, Chicago

You Are Here, Chicago in the Year 2000, Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago

Our Town, CITY 2000, Terra Museum of American Art, Chicago
A Year in the Life, City Gallery Historic Water Tower, Chicago
CITY 2000, inaugural exhibit, Gallery 312, Chicago

Photosynthesis, Three Arts Club, Chicago


SAIC Joan Flasch Artists' Book Collection, Chicago, IL
Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, IL
Portland Art Museum, Portland, OR
Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, WI
Southeast Museum of Photography, Daytona Beach, FL   
Ruttenberg Collection, Chicago, IL
Fidelity Investments, Boston, MA
Tweet/Big Chicks collection, Chicago, IL
Cleveland Clinic Art Collection
Girls' Club Collection, Fort Lauderdale, FL

2003-Present, Midwest Photographers Project,


2020    Culture and Animal Foundation Grant
2020    Phoenix Zones Initiative project sponsorship
2018    Columbia College Chicago faculty grant
2017    Columbia College Chicago faculty grant
2015    Prix Pictet Award Nominee
            Columbia College Chicago faculty grant
2014    Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events IAP Grant
2013    Columbia College Chicago faculty grant
2011    3Arts Chicago Visual Artist Award Nominee
2010    CAAP Grant, Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs
            Baum Award for Emerging American Photographers Nominee
2009    Ne Plus Ultra, Jen Bekman Gallery, NYC
2008    Blurb, Photography.Book.Now honorable mention
            CENTER: Review Santa Fe attendee
            Driehaus Foundation Individual Artist Award Nominee
2007    Urban Nature named No. 1 Museum Photography
            Exhibit, NewCity Chicago, Michael Weinstein
2006    CAAP Grant, Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs
2005    Beijing National Cultural Center, Honorable Mention
2002    Black Box, Columbia College part time faculty grant
1998    Stuart Baum Project Completion Grant
1997    Albert P. Weisman Scholarship



Thirty Times a Minute (Radius Books, 2020), photographs by Colleen Plumb, contributing texts by Marc Bekoff,
    Julia Cooke, Catherine Doyle, Hope Ferdowsian, M.D., Linda Hogan, Les O'Brien, Joyce Poole & Peter Granli,
    Steven M. Wise, Mandy-Suzanne Wong

Night Swimmers
(Soho Press, 2019), by Peter Rock, cover image
(Counterpoint, 2017), by Peter Rock, a collaboration of text and photographs
City Creatures
(University of Chicago Press, 2015), Edited by Gavin Van Horn and Dave Aftandilian
Exploring Color Photography, 5th ed
(Routledge, 2013), by Robert Hirsch
Animals Are Outside Today
(Radius, 2011), by Colleen Plumb, with an essay by Lisa Hostetler
Light and Lens: Photography in the Digital Age (Focal Press, 2007), Edited by Robert Hirsch
Field Guide to the North American Family (Knopf, 2007), by Garth Risk Hallberg
CITY 2000 (University of Illinois Press, 2006), Edited by Rich Cahan, Teri Boyd, and Gary Comer


ARTFORUM, Surveilling Snow Lily, highlighted as Must-See, RomanSusan, Chicago, Feb 2021
Miami Herald, Arts Section cover image and review: Natural Transcendence, August 2021
Lenscratch, Politics in the Kitchen, Barbara Ciurej and Lindsay Lochman, April 2021

LensCulture Favorite Photo Books of 2020, Lisa Hostetler, Curator in Charge, George Eastman Mueum
EcoLit Books, Best Environmental Books 2020, John Yunker
Minding Nature Journal, in-depth review by Radika Subramaniam
New Books Network, interview by Mark Molloy
Nonuman Rights Project webinar with Courtney Fern, Director of Government Relations
The Other Animals podcast interview with Laurent Levy, September 2020

Psychology Today, Animals, Exploitation, and Art: The Work of Colleen Plumb, interview by Marc Bekoff, Jan 2018

Lit Hub, Can an Artist Help Captive Elephants Win Legal Personhood? by Julia Cooke, November, 2017
The Village Voice, April 5, How Colleen Plumb Uses Her Art to Highlight the
     Plight of Animals in Captivity
by Julia Cooke
Feature Shoot, Shedding Light on the Suffering of Captive Animals, by Miss Rosen, April 10

Virginia Quarterly Review
, Summer, portfolio, essay by Juila Cooke     
Afterimage, vol. 43, April, 2016, SPELLS project, Stephen Longmire, interview
Glitterati, Inc., The Click, interview by Miss Rosen
A New Nothing, with Rachel Herman
Center for Humans and Nature, Closing the Door on Captivity, December

Artillery Magazine
, Los Angeles, review by Christopher Russell

OPB, Oregon Public Broadcasting, State of Wonder radio interview, with April Baer
journal of the Knight Foundation, Towards the Sky Again, review by Anne Tschida

, Colleen Plumb: Towards the Sky Again, Aline Smithson,
Center for Humans and Nature, City Creatures, essay, Thirty Times a Minute
F News Magazine, Colleen Plumb's Elephant on the Wall, Paula Calvo

BLOW Photo Magazine
, Dublin, Ireland
Oxford American, Summer issue, cover image

RealSimple Magazine, April

New York Times LENS blog, Love and Loss and the Animal Kingdom, by Kerri MacDonald

Women in Photography,, Animals are Outside Today, April
LANDSCAPE Stories, issue 05: Animals
BBC Brazil, Slideshow and review, June
TIME LightBox, Animals Are Outside Today, by Neil Harris
PDN Photo of the Day, April 14
FK: Foto Kvartals, interview by Elina Ruka
Nuevo Herald, Miami, by Adriana Herrera
l'Espresso, Rome, Lara Crinò
Lifeforce magazine, London, Damian Bird
Pasatiempo, Santa Fe, interview by Rob Dewalt
Photo Eye book review, Animals Are Outside Today, by Ellen Rennard
PDN Notable Books 2011,
Animals Are Outside Today, Holly Stuart Hughes
La Lettre de La PHOTOGRAPHIE, Book Review,
Animals Are Outside Today, Miss Rosen
Interview: Animals Are Outside Today, Miss Rosen
Santa Fe Radio Cafe: with Mary-Charlotte, October 27
The New York Photo Review, Animals Are Outside Today, Barbara Confino
Photograph Magazine, Snapshots
, Animals Are Outside Today, exhibition review by Jean Dykstra, April
Our Hen House, Jasmin Singer, April
Flavorwire, Tom Hawking, April

New York Times T Magazine, Sunday, November 7
The Chain, curated by Stuart Pilkington 

PDN, Exposures, February, by Alia Akkam
PDN, Chicago's Photography Scene, June
Nymphoto Photography Collective, Conversation
HotShoe International, The Second Life of Jen Bekman, Gallerist, June
Historic Water Tower exhibition essay, Karen Irvine, Museum of Contemporary Photography
PDN Online, Exposures: All Booked Up, by Conor Risch
The Rumpus, Stephen Elliot
Personism blog, Jen Bekman
NewCity Chicago, Urban Nature, Historic Water Tower, review by Michael Weinstein

Artists' Showcase
, Center for Fine Art Photography, Fort Collins, essay by Darius Himes
Art Slant, Beyond the Backyard @MoCP,  Abraham Ritchie

Chicago, Eye Exam: For the Birds, Jason Foumberg
NewCity Chicago, Tip of the Week, Michael Weinstein

Photography Now: 100 Portfolios
DVD, Wright State, Dayton, OH

, Portfolio Issue



Columbia College Chicago, MFA, Photography, 1999
Northern Illinois University, BFA, Visual Communication, 1992
study abroad, Graphic Design in England, France, Switzerland, Italy, 1991
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, coursework in drawing, 1989-90




Colleen Plumb makes photographs, videos, and installations investigating contradictory relationships people have with nonhuman animals. Her work explores the way animals in captivity function as symbols of persistent colonial thinking, that a striving for human domination over nature has been normalized, and that consumption masks as curiosity. Plumb's work sheds light on abnormal behaviors of captive animals in order to bring attention to implicit values of society as a whole, particularly those that perpetuate power imbalance and tyranny of artifice. One of her recent projects, Invisible Visible, reflects upon the industrial food system and meatpacking industry through the bones and bodies of chickens.

Plumb's work is held in several permanent collections and has been widely exhibited, including the Portland Art Museum, Milwaukee Art Museum, Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago, Blue Sky Oregon Center for the Photographic Arts in Portland, Dina Mitrani Gallery  and The Screening Room in Miami, Southeast Museum of Photography in Daytona, Jen Bekman Gallery in New York, Union League Club of Chicago, the Historic Chicago Water Tower Gallery, and the Notebaert Nature Museum in Chicago. Her work has been part of The Chicago Project at Catherine Edelman Gallery in Chicago since 2005 and the Midwest Photographers Project at the Museum of Contemporary Photography since 2003. She has written for the Center for Humans and Nature, an organization dedicated  to exploring and promoting human responsibilities in relation to nature, and was a contributor to their book, City Creatures (University of Chicago Press, 2015).

Her first photography monograph, Animals Are Outside Today (Radius Books, 2011) critically documents ambivalent dispositions towards animals. Her focus for more than two decades has been an inquiry into a society whose appetite for animals, whether in flesh or in reproduction, with admiration or obsession, is voracious.

Plumb's recent photography book, Thirty Times a Minute (Radius 2020), examines the plight of captive elephants, with contributing essays by Marc Bekoff, Julia Cooke, Catherine Doyle, Hope Ferdowsian, M.D., Linda Hogan, Les O'Brien, Joyce Poole & Peter Granli, Steven M. Wise, Mandy-Suzanne Wong.

Plumb's work has appeared in LitHub, Psychology Today, Virginia Quarterly Review, The Village Voice, Blow Photo Magazine, New York Times LENS, Time Lightbox, Oxford American, Photo District News, and Artillery Magazine. Plumb lives in Chicago and has taught photography and video at Columbia College Chicago since 1999.