Shanna Merola is a visual artist, photojournalist and activist legal worker. In addition to her studio practice, she has been a human rights observer during political uprisings across the country - from the deeply embattled struggle for water rights in Detroit and Flint, Michigan, to the frontlines of Ferguson, MO and Standing Rock, ND. Her collages and constructed landscapes are informed by these events - from direct actions against fracking companies, to the privatization of water both globally and locally. Merola lives in Detroit, MI where she facilitates Know-Your-Rights workshops on best practices during police encounters, and coordinates legal support for grassroots organizations through the Michigan Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild.
Merola has been a lecturer and visiting artist at the Rhode Island School of Design, the University of Michigan Institute for the Humanities, Cranbrook Academy of Art, the University of Richmond Department of Art and Art History and the School of Visual and Performing Arts at the University of Toledo. Her work has been published by the Humble Arts Foundation, Art 21 Magazine, Wayne State University Press and Nat.Brut. Her artwork has been exhibited both nationally and abroad. She has been awarded studio residencies at The MacDowell Colony and the Santa Fe Art Institute, and fellowships through the Virginia Museum of Fine Art and the Midwest Environmental Justice Network. Merola holds an MFA in Photography from Cranbrook Academy of Art and a BFA in Photo and Film from Virginia Commonwealth University.