ABOUT THE ARTIST
Anna Tomczak's photographs are created in the studio where she assembles her "scenes." Each image is described in vibrant colors and assembled with found objects such as botanicals, memorabilia, and artifacts, as well as the human figure. In her own words, she explains, "Artifacts depict my personal experience through visual narrative and combine color, light and texture to welcome the interpretation of the viewer. I am interested in the impact of images combined together- textures, feathers, air bubbles, and butterflies, patterns of light and shadow."
Technique is central to her photography. She is one of very few masters of the Polaroid 20 x 24 inch view camera. For both the 20 x 24 and 8 x10, the process is the same, once the "scene" is assembled, she makes the exposure, then separates the image layers while they are still developing and delicately transfers the negative onto watercolor paper. Every print is unique, as each is transferred immediately after being photographed.
Anna Tomczak earned her BA in Theater Arts-Film Studies from Pennsylvania State University and an MFA in Fine Art Photography from the University of Florida. This combination of theater, film and photography provided her the foundation for the development of dramatic imagery realized in her current work. Tomczak's photography has been featured in exhibitions at venues including the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the Southeast Museum of Photography, and the Norton Museum of Art, among others. Recently, her images were included in a traveling exhibition organized by the Foundation for the Exhibition of Photography titled The Polaroid Project, that traveled internationally to cities including Vienna and Berlin. Tomczak's photographs were also included in an exhibit at Fotonostra in Barcelona in October of 2019.
She has received several awards and grants including the Florida Individual Artist Fellowship and Career Enhancement Grant; Polaroid Artist Support Program Grant and Distinguished Visiting Artist at the Anna Lamar Switzer Center for Visual Arts, Florida. Her work has been featured in publications such as Sanctuary (2008) and Picturing Florida (2008) - both by Fresco Fine Art Publications. Her work has also appeared in the Georgia Review, View Camera Magazine, Camera Arts, Studio Photography and Design, and Florida History Magazine. In addition to her career as an artist, Anna teaches workshops in Florida and various university, museum and studio classrooms throughout the US, Italy and Spain. She lives in Lake Helen, Florida, with her husband Mark Shuttleworth, Buckwheat the cat, Buddy the dog and two birds.
Arts on Douglas: Q&A with Anna Tomczak
20x24 Studio - Featured Artist
Muybridge's Horse: Blog Feature
Arts on Douglas - New Smyrna Beach, FL
Scott Edwards Gallery - New Orleans, LA
SOHO Myriad - Atlanta, GA
The Clarence John Laughlin Award was created by the New Orleans Photo
Alliance (NOPA) to support the work of photographers who use the medium as a means of creative expression. It honors the life and work of Clarence John Laughlin (1905-1985), a New Orleans photographer best known for his surrealist images of the American South. The Clarence John Laughlin Award grants one $5000 prize annually to a photographer whose work exhibits sustained artistic excellence and creative vision.
The 2016 Clarence John Laughlin Award was juried by Steven Albahari, Publisher of 21st Editions, a unique niche press that combines classicdesign, printing and photographic processes with the word, image, and artisan binding. Mr. Albahari earned a Master of Science Visual Studies degree from M.I.T., and a B.A. from Bennington.
Anna was one of the 10 finalists for this award.
340 New York Avenue
Lake Helen, Florida 32744
Mostly Prague (2010)
by Neil Watson, Former Curator
The Norton Museum of Art
Anna Tomczak and Rebecca Sexton Larson: Manipulated Photography Exhibit at the Pensacola Museum of Art
Nature magnified by art (2003), by Lennie Bennett, St. Petersburg Times
Encaustic Art in the Twenty-First Century
by Anne Lee and E. Ashley Rooney
Schiffer Publishing, Ltd. (2016)
Sanctuary: Anna Tomczak Photographer
by Barbara Hitchcock
Fresco Fine Art Publications in collaboration with the Museum of Florida Art, DeLand, Florida (2008)
Picturing Florida: From the First Coast to the Space Coast by Kahren Jones Arbitman & Susan Gallo
Fresco Fine Art Publications (2008)
Digital Photo Art: Transform Your Images with Traditional
& Contemporary Art Techniques
by Theresa Airey
Lark Books (2005)
Polaroid Manipulations: A Complete Visual Guide to Creating SX-70, Transfer and Digital Prints
by Kathleen Thurmond Carr
Amphoto Books (2002)
Photo Portfolio Success
by John Kaplan
Writer's Digest Books (2003)
GRANTS, RESIDENCIES & FELLOWSHIPS
Volusia County Artist Development Grant, Artist Enhancement Grant,
FL State Division of Cultural Affairs,
Polaroid Artist Support Program,
Polaroid Cultural Division,
Loft Nota Bene Residency, Cadaques, Spain,
ACA, Florida First Contact International Landscape Residency,
Escape to Create Fellowship, Seaside Institute, Florida,
Florida Individual Artist Fellowship,
State Division of Cultural Affairs Visiting Artist Program,
Division of Cultural Affairs-Florida School for the Arts;
Santa Fe Community College;
Southeast Museum Photography,
ACA/LaNapoule Arts Foundation,
Cultural Exchange Fellowship, France;
NEA/FACF Artist-in-Education residency, Volusia County schools,
NEA/SECCA Southeast Seven Fellowship, NC
The Horn Residence, Deland, FL: This series of photographs printed on metal were commissioned by architect Kevin Schweizer and owners John and Karen Horn as an assemblage reflective of the environment and architecture of the residence. Built into a natural sinkhole in Central Florida by Nils Schweizer (a student of Frank Lloyd Wright) in the 1960’s, his son Kevin Schweizer did the restoration on the Horn Residence in 2016. Kevin became committed to organic architecture, which is a philosophy of architecture that promotes harmony between human habitation and the natural world through design approaches. This became a driving force in my creation of these metal prints, installed into the architectural design and the landscape of the residence.