Ellen Rennard’s Profile

The Downs at Albuquerque By Ellen Rennard
The Downs at Albuquerque
Forty years ago, horse racing was the most popular spectator sport in America.  Around that time, I rode a horse on the exercise track at Arlington Park, and, as women were just beginning to ride in big races, I entertained a fleeting dream of becoming a jockey.  Decades later, beginning in 2003, when I was teaching in Albuquerque, I returned to photograph at The Downs at Albuquerque, a Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racetrack at the New Mexico state fairgrounds. Even though crowds...
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When I was a wee girl, my father, a serious amateur photographer, put his Rolleiflex on a tripod, set up his lights, and told me to look at the camera and hold still.   That was the beginning.  Some time later, a B.A. in Independent Studies from Princeton University, where I wrote my thesis on images of Native Americans, then an M.A. in English from Middlebury.  Finally, after years of teaching and writing and single-parenting my daughter Emily, in 1998 I began to photograph in earnest. My first workshop, taught by Douglas Kent Hall, was called The Camera and the Pen.  I figured that if I couldn’t load film, I could always write, but by the end of the first morning, I had overcome my anxiety and was completely hooked.  I took more classes, then, in 2000, studied with Shelby Lee Adams at Anderson Ranch.  I subsequently assisted him in eastern Kentucky and on commercial shoots, and worked as the still photographer for the documentary, The True Meaning of Pictures.   Many other teachers and friends have also helped me along the way; for their encouragement I am most grateful.   I currently teach at Groton School, in Groton, MA, write book reviews for Fraction Magazine and photo-eye, and am working on a book on The Downs at Albuquerque. 


Princeton University, Thesis:  Images of Native Americans, American Studies Certificate with  Distinction, B.A. with Honors in Independent Studies (1976)

Middlebury College, MA English (1988)

Awards and Honors

Honorable Mention, Robert Cornelius Award , juror, Stephen Perloff (2010)

Best of Show, Tubac Center of the Arts, Beyond the Lens, juror, Ken Rosenthal (2010)

First Place for Book Proposal and Documentary Photography, Px3’s People’s Choice Awards (2010)

Third Place, PCNW Present Tense:  15th Annual Photographic Competition, juror, Denise Wolff (2010)

Review Santa Fe Participant (2010)

Third Place, Texas Photographic Society 24th Members’ Only Show, jurors, Clark Baker, Susan Mullally, and Susan Dunkerley Maguire (2010)

Artist’s Valentine Grant Recipient (2010)

Finalist, New York Photo Book Award (2009)

Photolucida Critical Mass Top 50 (2009)

Honorable Mention, Camera Club of New York’s National Competition,  juror, Henry Horenstein, (2009)

Juror's Commendation, Houston Center for Photography 27th Anniversary Members’ Only Exhibition, juror, Katherine Ware (2009)

Photolucida Critical Mass Finalist (2008)

Kodak Educator’s Scholarship (1999)

Solo Exhibitions

Griffin Museum of Photography’s Atelier Gallery at the Stoneham Theatre, 2010

Women in Photography, 2008

 Selected Group Exhibitions

Texas Photographic Society’s Captivar La Luz:  A Latino Experience, juror, Kathy Vargas (2010)

Texas Photographic Society’s International Competition, juror, Katherine Ware (2010)

Mpls Photo Center, Black & White:  People, Places & Things, juror, George Slade (2010)

RayKo Photo Center, (Por)trait Revealed, juror, Ann Jastrab (2010)

Silver Eye Center for Photography’s New Works Gallery Online (July, 2010)

Photographic Center Northwest, Exposed:  Critical Mass 2009, juror, Andy Adams (2010)

Center for Fine Art Photography’s Portfolio Showcase 4, juror, Katherine Ware (2010)

Asbury University’s The Horse, juror, Linda Stratford (2010)

Project Basho Onward 09, juror, Peter Barberie (2009)

Center for Fine Art Photography’s Black and White Exhibition, juror, Jim Casper (2009)

Griffin Museum of Photography Member’s 15th Juried Exhibition, juror, Catherine Edelman (2009)

Photographic Resource Center Benefit Auction (2009)

Global Initiative Exhibition at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center (2009)


Review of David Grant Noble’s In the Places of the Spirits, Fraction Magazine, Issue 20 (2010)

Hayden’s Ferry Review (November, 2010)

Review of Danny Lyon’s Memories of the Southern Civil Rights Movement, Fraction Magazine, Issue 16 (2010)

Orion Magazine (July/August, 2010)

Shots Magazine No. 108 (2010)

Black and White Magazine UK  (January 2010)

Fraction Magazine, Issue 10 (2010)

Portfolio Showcase Book, Vol. 4, Fort Collins, CO (2010)

Luminous Lint, Online Gallery, Nature:  Horses (2010)

Nymphoto Collective of Women Photographers, Nymphoto Conversations, Featured Artist (2009)

Lenscratch, Featured Photographer (2009)

Flak Photo, Online Gallery (2008)

VISION magazine, Featured Photographer (October 2008)

JPG Magazine, Issue 17 (2008)

Rangefinder (January 2007)

Oxford American (Fall 2005)

Black and White Magazine (April 2002)

“Kurt Edward Fishback:  Coming Full Circle,” Photovision (July/August 2001)

“Shelby Lee Adams:  On the Back Roads of Kentucky,” Photovision (May/June 2001)


Teacher, Groton School, Groton, MA (2003-present)

Still photographer for documentary film, The True Meaning of Pictures, Mercury Films, Inc. (2001)







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