Elizabeth Opalenik lives and works in Oakland, California, but this peripatetic artist is often on the move. As a photographic artist, she believes that all good photographs are self-portraits that lie somewhere between imagination and dreams. Her 44-year career has found her teaching or making images on six continents, seeking the beauty and grace that exists within all things, from people to landscape and still livings to abstraction.
Whether digital or darkroom, her point of view has always been “what if?” as she explores the unique world surrounding us all. Using photography as the visual voice for stories left behind, Elizabeth favors the handmade image or papers. She prefers Mordançage with her signature veils of floating emulsion, carbon printing, or creating with water in any fashion.
Elizabeth’s work is collected, published, and exhibited internationally. In addition, Opalenik also travels with Medical Ministry International, documenting the humanitarian projects of eye doctors in Colombia, Bolivia, and the Amazon.
Following a life-long dream, she published her first monograph, Poetic Grace-Elizabeth Opalenik Photographs 1979-2007. In 2021 she conjured into existence, Workshop Stories: changed through photography collecting over 100 stories and images from prominent instructors from the early years of photography workshops.