MARY BETH MEEHAN is an independent photographer, writer, and educator, who has spent more than twenty years embedding herself in communities across the United States. Beginning in her native New England, and continuing in the Midwest, the American South and in Silicon Valley, her work, which combines image, text, and large-scale public installation, stems from her belief in a collaborative process that should function in and for the communities it reflects. Co-opting the scale of celebrity and advertising, Meehan’s portrait banners activate public spaces and spark conversations among and about the people who inhabit them.
With each project, formal and informal events are organized to engage communities in civic dialogue – about identity, access, visibility, inclusion, social equity, and other concerns. These events include walking tours, panel discussions, church and other community-group dialogues, and student-led interactions. Her most recent project, “Seeing Newnan,” was installed in that small Georgia town in April of 2019, and has already become a springboard for community-wide conversations and connections. That work will be in place until the Spring of 2020.
Mary Beth has held residencies at Stanford University, the University of Missouri School of Journalism and at the University of West Georgia. She has lectured and led workshops at the School of Visual Arts, New York, the Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, in Boston, and the Missouri Photo Workshop. A native of Brockton, Massachusetts, Mary Beth received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English literature at Amherst College, and a Master of Arts degree in photojournalism at the University of Missouri, Columbia. She lives in Providence with her husband and two sons.