Bio & CV

Elizabeth Chiles is an American artist based in Austin, Texas making visual art that searches beyond the physical, to places of peace, contemplation, and connection. Exploring the intersections between an embodied human perception, the ever-shifting physical world, and the mysterious world beyond our sensory awareness, Chiles’ work pushes the boundaries of photography. 

It was upon seeing the infinite in a blade of grass as a child that Chiles began her personal and artistic pursuits. 

Born in Austin and raised in Houston, Texas, Elizabeth graduated with a B.A. in Art History from Columbia University and an M.F.A. in Photography from San Francisco Art Institute. Her work has been widely exhibited, including Over Time, a solo exhibition at Pump Project nominated for best solo show in Austin 2015–2016, 15 to Watch at the Austin Museum of Art (now The Contemporary Austin) in 2011, The Texas Biennial in 2011, and in 2013 with the collective Lakes Were Rivers, and The Collector’s Guide to New Art Photography, organized by Humble Arts at the Chelsea Art Museum, New York. Her exhibition Weave at grayDUCK Gallery earned her a nomination for Best Artist in the 2017–2018 season. 

Elizabeth taught theory and photography at The University of Texas at Austin, Texas State University, and Southwestern University for six years. She served on the Board of Trustees and was co-chair of programming at the Austin Center for Photography from 2008–2015, and has served as a mentor to several young artists and a juror on a number of grants and awards panels. She is the recipient of City of Austin arts grants from 2014–2021.
EDUCATION
SAN FRANCISCO ART INSTITUTE, MFA Photography, San Francisco, CA, 2005
COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY, BA Art History, New York, NY, 1997

TEACHING
ST. EDWARD'S UNIVERSITY, Austin, TX, Lecturer, 2021
HOUSTON CENTER FOR PHOTOGRAPHY, 2020 - 21
UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT AUSTIN, Austin, TX, Lecturer, Art Theory, 2011 - 2015
SOUTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY, Georgetown, TX, Assistant Professor of Photography, 2012 - 2015
TEXAS STATE UNIVERSITY, San Marcos, TX, Lecturer, Art, Art History and Honors, 2009-2013
LESLEY UNIVERSITY, Art Institute of Boston, Low Residency MFA, Graduate Mentor, 2010

SOLO EXHIBITIONS
GARDEN TIME:first phase of new evolution, McCarthy Circle, Austin, TX 2020
NESTS AND OTHER PLACES TO REST, The Line, Austin, TX  2019
ON WATER, Central Library, Austin, TX 2019
WEAVE, Architectural Digest Design Show, New York, NY 2019
WEAVE, Grayduck Gallery, Austin, 2018
ON MY MIND, AGAIN, Southwest School of the Arts, San Antonio, TX, 2016
OVER TIME, Pump Projects, Austin, TX, 2016
BOOK OF PRAISE, testsite, Austin, TX 2010
VISIBILITY, Spartan, Austin, TX 2009

TWO AND THREE PERSON EXHIBITIONS
LUMENS & CURRENTS, Elizabeth Chiles and John Swanger, Grayduck Gallery, Austin, 2017
IN THE SPACE OF SUMMER (with Karen Cleveland and Olivia Valentine), Whitespec, Atlanta, GA, 2016
BEAUTY IS EVERYWHERE OR WE’LL BREAK YOUR BONES, Installations and Experiences by Elizabeth Jean Chiles and Beverly Jane Bajema, Pleasure Palace, Austin, 201

SELECT GROUP EXHIBITIONS
WINTER GARDEN, Houston Center for Photography, 2020
INFOCUS v. 2,  Phoenix Art Musuem, AZ, 2017
POST HUDSON, Frontispiece Hudson, Coxsackie, NY, 2016
UT AUSTIN FACULTY SHOW, Visual Arts Center, Austin, TX 2015, 2011
INFOCUS, Phoenix Art Musuem, AZ, 2014
MAIL ART, Franklin Street Works, Stamford, CT, 2014
ON THE ROAD, Aperture Foundation Benefit, New York, NY, 2014
MOVING/STILL curated by Kerry Inman, Houston Center for Photography & Fotofest, 2013
HER , Rolla Foundation, Bruzella, Switzerland, 2012
TEXAS STATE UNIVERSITY FACULTY EXHIBITION, San Marcos, TX, 2010, 2012, 2013
THEN AND NOW Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, Milwaukee, WI, 2012
NEW ART PHOTOGRAPHY, Chelsea Art Museum, curated by Vanessa Kramer, New York, NY, 2011
TEXAS BIENNIAL, Austin, TX, 2011
15 TO WATCH: NEW ART IN AUSTIN, Austin Museum of Art, Austin, TX, 2011
DECK THE WALLS, John Cleary Gallery, Houston, TX, 2010 and 2009
HOME, Root Division, San Francisco, CA, 2005
SAN FRANCISCO ART INSTITUTE AT STANFORD UNIVERSITY, curated by Charles Boone, 2004
Fragments of Contemporary Urban Life, Diego Rivera Gallery; San Francisco City Hall; Michaelis Gallery, the University of Cape Town, South Africa, 2002
Creative City, San Francisco Bureau of Urban Secrets, San Francisco, CA, 2002

projects with LAKES WERE RIVERS COLLECTIVE
STRANGE PILGRIMS, The Contemporary Austin, 2015
CONTEMPORARY PHOTOGRAPHIC PRACTICE AND THE ARCHIVE, Harry Ransom Center, Austin, TX, 2013
TEXAS BIENNIAL 2013, Blue Star Art Museum, San Antonio
Warhol Foundation Idea Fund Grant, 2012
DARK MATTER, Vanderbilt University Gallery, Nashville, TN, 2012
PANTA REI, Box 13, Houston, TX (in conjunction with Foto Fest), 2010

Abbreviated Bibliography

Field Guided, Wildflower Magazine, by Lauren Moya Ford, spring 2020
Elizabeth Chiles’ On Water exhibition at Central Library, CBS Austin program We Are
Austin, interview with Trevor Scott, July 15, 2019
KUT, NPR in Austin interview with John Aielli, July 30, 2019
Austin Art Talk Podcast, Elizabeth Chiles
Elizabeth Chiles: Weave, Melanie Jean, Austin Chronicle, May 4, 2018
Weaving light: In her newest photographic work, Elizabeth Chiles embraces serenity, Erin Keever, Arts + Culture, May 2018
Weaving light: In her newest photographic work, Elizabeth Chiles embraces serenity, Erin Keever, Sightlines Magazine, March 2018
Elizabeth Chiles and John Swanger: Lumens & Currents at Grayduck Gallery, Sam Anderson-Ramos, Austin Chronicle, January 6, 2017
Photography project uses cloud formations to examine time, Austin American Statesman, April 14, 2016
Elizabeth Chiles: Over Time at Pump Projects, The Austin Chronicle, April 1, 2016
7 things in 7 days, top things to do in Austin this week, Austin American Statesman, March 25, 2016
Strange Pilgrims exhibition to come to The Contemporary Austin, The Daily Texan, September 2015
Strange Pilgrims at The Contemporary Austin, Kate Green, Art Forum, November 2015
5 Can’t Miss Stops at EAST 2014, Austin Way Magazine, by Wes Eichenwald
The nature of the [b]EAST, Seth Orion Schwaiger, Arts & Culture, October 26, 2014
MOVING/STILL: Recent Photographs by Texas Artists Tries to Make Peace With Nature, Houston Press, September 24, 2013 by Altamese Osborne
Top 5 in Houston this week (Moving/Still at Fotofest & HCP), Glasstire, September 2013
Archives Inform Modern Photographers work at the Ransom Center, Jeanne Claire van Ryzin, The Austin American Statesman, July 14, 2013.
KUT, NPR in Austin interview with John Aielli, June 27, 2013
West Austin Studio Tour artist plays with light, nature and the cycles of life by Luke Quinton, The Austin American Statesman, April 25, 2013
In the Studio: Elizabeth Chiles by Andy Campbell, The Austin Chronicle, April 14, 2013
Dark Matter, Critics pick, Nashville Review, November, 2012
I Shutter to Think, Rising Stars in Austin, Austin Chronicle, Robert Faires, May 20, 2011
PBS television interview, Austin Museum of Art, March 2010

Catalogues
Strange Pilgrims, Heather Pesanti, The Contemporary Austin, UT Press, 2015
Moving/Still, Fotofest and Houston Center for Photography, 2013
Texas Biennial 2013, Virginia Rutledge, Texas Biennial, Austin, 2013
Young Artist Program, The Contemporary Austin, 2013
HER, Rolla Foundation, Italy, 2012.
Texas Biennial 2011, Virginia Rutledge, Texas Biennial, Austin, 2011
The The Collector's Guide to New Art Photography Vol. 2, Amani Olu and Jon Feinstein, Humble Arts Foundation, New York, 2010
Home, Root Division, San Francisco
The History of Mission 17 Gallery, San Francisco
New Art in Austin, Kate Bonansinga, Toby Kamps, and Andrea Mellard, Austin Museum of Art, Austin, 2011

Artist books
Weave, 2018, poems, available at grayDUCK Gallery, Austin
Electric Blue Flowers, 2016, writings and photographs, Farewell Books and Frontispiece Hudson
The flower and the bloom, monograph of work made in Maine, summer 2011; available at Fotofest, Houston
Lakes Were Rivers: Number One, collaborative artist book
Book of Praise produced in conjunction with testsite exhibition; available at Domy Books, Houston
Theatre, monograph of Theatre project, with essay by Toby Kamps, senior curator, Menil Collection, Houston, TX
Special edition portfolio, Gum Drops, produced at Cloverleaf Studios, Austin, TX
Special edition portfolio, Everyday Portals and Pleasures, produced at Cloverleaf Studios, Austin
Special edition portfolio, Theatre, produced at Cloverleaf Studios, Austin

Published Writings
Cover art: American Short Fiction, fall 2013
Fields Magazine, featured artist, summer 2014
Endless Ocean, Endless Sky, Fuse Box Festival, ...might be good, issue 99
Interview with Jessica McDonald, I Love Texas Photo, September 2013

Grants & Awards
Nominated for Best Artist in Austin, 2018, Austin Critics Table
Nominated for Best Solo Exhibition in Austin, 2016, Austin Critics Table
Finalist, Art Pace Residency, spring 2017, selected by Michelle Grabner
The Contemporary Austin, Collectors’ Circle print commission, 2015
City of Austin, Core Funding Grant, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
Finalist, Art Pace Residency, fall 2014 selected by Mika Yoshitake, Assistant Curator at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
Fellowship, Hambidge, Creative Residency Program, summer 2014
Best photographers to Lakes Were Rivers, Austin Chronicle, 2011
Nominated for Best Museum Exhibition for Contemporary Photographic Practice and the Archive, Harry Ransom Center, Critics Table Awards, 2014

Public Talks and Lectures
2019 Grand Rapids Art Museum, studio visit
2019 Site Santa Fe, Museum board studio visit
2018 Blanton Museum of Art, Museum trustees studio visit
2018 Blanton Museum of Art, Gallery Talk with Veronica Roberts
2016 Grayduck Gallery, Austin, exhibition talk
2016 Houston Center for Photography, Studio visit and tour
2016 Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX, Artist talk
2016 Kansas City Art Institute, Kansas City, MO, Artist talk
2015 The University of Texas at Austin, faculty exhibition, program lecture
2014 Canopy, conversation with Heather Pesanti, Senior Curator, The Contemporary Austin
2014 Hambidge Center for Creative Arts and Sciences, Rabun Gap, Georgia, Artist talk
2014 The University of Texas at Austin, Quest Program, Artist talk
2013 The Harry Ransom Center, Contemporary Photographic Practice and the Archive, Public Talk on Exhibition
2013 Houston Center for Photography, exhibition walk through with curator
2013 Fotofest, exhibition walk through with curator Kerry Inman
2013 KUT/KUTX, Austin’s NPR station, Radio interview with John Aielli about HRC exhibition
2012 Texas Educators Association, presentation: Photographing the Everyday and Storytelling through Photography
2011 The Austin Museum of Art, Public Talk on Exhibition
2011 PBS interview at Austin Museum of Art, Interview for local PBS station
2011 The University of Texas at Austin, visiting artist lecture in The History of Photography
2011 The University of Texas at Austin, faculty exhibition, program lecture
2010 Texas State University, visiting artist lecture in Studio Practicum
2009 Texas State University, visiting artist lecture in Studio Practicum
2009 testsite, exhibition talk

Professional Experience
ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR, Lora Reynolds Gallery, Austin, TX, 2007 – 2009
ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR, Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco, CA, 2005-2007
REGISTRAR & CLIENT SPECIALIST, Barbara Krakow Gallery, Boston, MA, 1998-2002

SERVICE
Mentor, Austin Emerging Arts Leaders, 2020 - 21
Board Member; Executive Committee Member & Co-chair of Programming, Austin Center for Photography, 2008 - 2014
Established and led a for-credit internship between Texas State University photography students and Austin Center for Photography
Mentorship through Young Artist Program with The Contemporary Austin, 2013
Organized the annual fundraiser for AIDS at Barbara Krakow Gallery 2000 – 2002
Boston Art Dealer’s Association, 1998 – 2002, Secretary of the organization 1998 – 2002
Independent Studies with undergraduate and graduate students, UT Austin and Texas State University, 2010 - 2014

Juror/Curator
Curator, ArtStartArt, 2017
Panelist, City of Austin Cultural Arts Funding 2016
See.Me juror for the international competition for Conceptual Photography
Texas State University, 2013, juror for exhibition of Buddhist mandalas
Art City Austin, 2010, juror for the city wide exhibition for photography
Visual Arts Club, Sun City, Texas juror for all visual arts categories

Public Collections include:
The Contemporary Austin
The Archer Hotel, New York and Austin
Dell Children’s Hospital, Austin
Dimensional Worldwide
Google
The Hirshhorn Library, Washington DC
The Rolla Foundation, Switzerland
The Line Hotel, ATX, DC, LA

Private Collections include:
Miranda Bennett, Austin
Julie Castellano, New York
Mike Chesser, Austin
Deborah Green, Austin & New York
Joel and Stacy Hock, Austin
Cathy Kaplan, New York
 Miller, Austin
Danielle Nieciag and Brian Sharples, Austin
Lora Reynolds and Quincy Lee, Austin
Susanna Singer, New York
Chris Tomlinson and Shalini Ramanathan, Austin and Houston
Tom and Olivia Walton, Arkansas