Amee Ellis’ love of wandering is at the heart of her photographic work, exploring the interconnectedness of spirit and place. Her landscapes contemplate the relationship of past and present and personal and collective history. Born in Minnesota, she has lived in Nebraska, Georgia, Illinois, Oregon, and New Mexico. Her roaming led her back to the Midwest and she now calls Des Moines, Iowa home.
Amee’s photographs are created using black-and-white film. Using a variety of old manual cameras enables her to slow down and take time to construct her impression of a scene. Discovering the peculiarities of a place inspires her to play with focus and composition, allowing texture, depth, and shape to emerge. Seeing in black-and-white strips away some of her subject’s familiarity and context of place and time, allowing the viewer to form their own connection to her monochrome meditations. From her custom-built home darkroom, she produces images crafted from film, paper, light, and silver. Each silver gelatin print is created and printed by hand.
Amee studied fine art photography at Columbia College Chicago under the tutelage of Karen Glaser, Arthur Lazar, Jno Cook, and Elizabeth Ernst. Amee’s eclectic experience in film photography ranges from retail to lab work. In the days before the widespread use of digital photography, she worked in a custom photo lab printing color evidence photography for legal and courtroom use and as a darkroom assistant to underwater photographer Karen Glaser, printing large black-and-white images for Karen’s Mysterious Manatees series.
Amee’s work has been a part of several group and solo exhibitions, including “Resonant Fields”, a Des Moines Arts Festival curated group show, as well as the initial solo exhibition at the re-opening of The Tea Room in Des Moines. She has participated in numerous juried art festivals, including the Des Moines Arts Festival and Art in the Pearl in Portland, Oregon, and was awarded Best of Black-and-White Photography at the Chicago Botanic Garden Art Festival. She is currently making plans to attend a workshop at the George Eastman Museum in Rochester, NY.