Shanna Merola is a visual artist, photojournalist and legal worker. In addition to her studio practice, she has been a human rights observer during political uprisings across the country - from the 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. 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 guest lecturer and visiting artist at the Rhode Island School of Design, the University of Michigan Institute for the Humanities, Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bowling Green State University, and the School of Visual Arts at the University of Toledo. Her work has been published by Art 21 Magazine, Humble Arts Foundation, Wayne State University Press, Dear Dave Magazine, and Nat.Brut. 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. Merola holds an MFA in Photography from Cranbrook Academy of Art and a BFA in Photo and Film from Virginia Commonwealth University. Her artwork has been exhibited both nationally and abroad in Italy, Hungary, and South Korea.