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. 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 the female experience and is inspired by how history and memory shape 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 throughout the US and internationally since 2015. In 2018 she was one of Photolucida’s Top 50. She lives and works in Evanston, Il.