Lisa Elmaleh is an American visual artist, educator, and documentarian based in Hampshire County, West Virginia. She specializes in large-format work in tintype, glass negative, and celluloid film. Since 2007, she has been traveling across the US documenting American landscapes, life, and culture.
Born in Miami, Florida (1984), Lisa completed a BFA at the School of Visual Arts in New York in 2007, during which time she was awarded the Silas Rhodes Scholarship. Upon graduating, she received the prestigious Tierney Fellowship to work on a project that evolved into an in-depth visual documentation of the impact of climate change on the Everglades. The culmination of this project resulted in a book titled Everglades published in 2016 by Zatara Press.
Elmaleh’s work has been exhibited nationwide and recognized by the Aaron Siskind Foundation, Puffin Foundation, The Tierney Foundation, amongst others. Her work has been published by Harper’s Magazine, Smithsonian Magazine, CNN, The New York Times, National Geographic, Oxford American, Garden & Gun, and NPR, amongst others.
In 2010, Lisa began to work on a long-term ongoing project documenting traditional Appalachian musicians through tintype portraiture as a historic documentation of American culture.
In 2012, while still living in New York, she worked on a one-year visual autobiography, where she made daily self-portraits with her 8×10 camera to give a raw inside look at her life as a female visual artist.
Since 2014, Lisa has lived in Paw Paw, West Virginia. Throughout the years, she has been documenting the landscape, culture, and community around her.
In 2017, Lisa began traveling from the Appalachian Mountains, across to the west coast of America, and down to the US-Mexico border to document the landscape, culture, people, and environment in a time of great political divide. This ongoing project combines portraiture, landscape, and documentary photography.
Lisa travels in truck containing her bed, and a portable wet plate darkroom. She has a traditional black and white darkroom where she prints in West Virginia.
Lisa recently won the 2022 Arnold Newman Prize for New Directions in Photographic Portraiture with her series ‘Promised Land‘.
- The Story in Your Photographs (Online)