Michael W. Hicks was born and raised in Middletown, New Jersey, and grew up a few minutes from the beach. He did his undergrad at Rutgers University where he studied Political Science. "Since then I've lived in many places, including Philadelphia, Washington, DC, San Francisco, Maine, New York, Alaska, and Berlin." Hicks is currently living in Syracuse, NY, where he's finishing up his MFA in photography at Syracuse University. "It's great, but I have some moments where I miss the ocean." Hicks was chosen by juror Sam Barzilay as one of six artists to be included in our annual Portfolio exhibition.
Vanessa Filley was born and lived in New York City until she was twelve, at which time her family moved to Connecticut, where her parents still live. She went to college in Oberlin, OH and moved to San Francisco for the three years following graduation, then Atlanta for another four, and in 2006, moved to Chicago. "My husband and I thought we'd be in Chicago for three years and then move back East to be closer to family, but twelve years later we have grown roots and developed community that feels like family ... Being able to walk, bike, and take public transit most places I want to go is important to me as is access to an active and engaged arts and culture community. The Chicagoland area is ripe with both." In Filley's photography, peculiar children find sanctuary in books, in scenes somewhere between Grey Gardens and worlds of pure imagination. Filley was chosen by juror Sam Barzilay as one of six artists to be included in our annual Portfolio exhibition.