Vanessa Filley was born in New York City in 1975. She received her BA from Oberlin College and for the first six years of her career was a human rights investigator at a law firm. Instead of following her intention to go to law school, she founded a clothing company of one of a kind wear from recycled fabrics. Two years later her practice evolved into mixed-media fine arts. Her work ranges from large scale sculptural installations to tiny embroidery pieces. After years of making pictures she discovered she could synthesize her art making in photographs, allowing her to design scenes, make costumes and conjure a certain sense of emotion and place. She has several long term series with overarching themes of childhood imagination and the female experience and is inspired by how history and memory shapes who we are in the present. In June of 2018 she completed a two month residency at the Frances Willard House Museum. She has been showing work, and has won a number of juror’s awards, throughout the US and internationally since 2015. In 2016 and 2018 she was one of Photolucida’s Top 200. She lives and works in Evanston, Il.