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the six / mary rachel fanning

A native of Alabama, Mary Rachel Fanning currently resides in Chicago where she teaches photography at Columbia College. Fanning has received numerous awards for her teaching in both community-based and higher education. She has also received support for her projects from the Puffin Foundation and Feminist Review Trust. Fanning received her M.F.A. in Photography and Media Arts from the University of Colorado-Boulder and an interdisciplinary B.A. in Documentary Studies and Fine Art from the University of Alabama-Tuscaloosa.

In addition to exhibiting her own work both nationally and internationally, Fanning has also worked with non-profits and institutions such as Street-Level Youth Media, After School Matters, and the Museum of Contemporary Photography.

Fanning's influences and motivations are derived from her upbringing: "Raised by a pair of progressive educators in the Deep South, I am fascinated with people's stories, both public and private. Often my cultural interactions encounter the sharp edges of economics, race, age, social change, and the "American Dream." However, what remains most important to me is how my subjects (who I see as collaborators) communicate their relationship with the places they live, with others, and even myself, the photographer."