“The lightness that I strive for is not frivolous. It is firmly grounded in reality: as Italo Calvino suggested, ‘like a bird, not like a feather’. These occasions arise in the fullness and complexity of life. The residue of that vitality, that closeness to dynamism insinuates its potency into these often still, quiet images.

I find joy in the deliberate receptive process of looking. Yet, trying to hold on to instances of beauty is an inherently sad venture because the fleeting sparkle captured is quickly gone. Life feels long and short in turns. I endeavor in my life and work to collect traces of these ineffable moments.  I remind viewers to take time to look more closely at the world for flashes of beauty or clarity and to step toward the disquieting unknown.”

-Kate MacDonnell



Kate MacDonnell has exhibited nationally and internationally, including in Tokyo, New York, Los Angeles, Lima and Berlin. Her work is held in private and public collections. She has had Museum shows in Washington DC at the Corcoran Gallery and the American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center. Her work has been published in the exhibition catalogue Catalyst: 35 Years of Washington Project for the Arts, as well as in The Photo Review and Photography Quarterly. She was interviewed on NPR’s Morning Edition for her work in the collaborative project www.sametime715.com. She has received Artist Fellowship Grants from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities and has been a visiting artist and guest lecturer to colleges and universities including George Washington University, Virginia Commonwealth University, St. Mary's College of Maryland, and the Corcoran College of Art and Design. She lives and works in Washington, DC.