Joel Pickford Bio

Joel Pickford is an award-winning photographer, filmmaker, and author born and raised in California's San Joaquin Valley. His photographs have graced the pages of Black & White magazine and are found in many public and private collections, including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Portland Art Museum, Ogden Museum of Southern Art, Fresno Art Museum, the University of Oregon Museum of Art, and the Weston Gallery. His documentary films have been seen on PBS stations throughout the country. Joel is co-author and art director of California Light (1998, The Press at California State University Fresno), the first art book ever to combine digital reproduction with hexachrome printing. Joel's decade-long project, Le Monde Creole: Photographs of Southern Louisiana, culminated in an exhibition that premiered at the Fresno Art Museum in 2007 and traveled to the Centro Fotografico Manual Alvarez Bravo in Oaxaca, Mexico in 2008. In 2005, Joel received two major grants from the California Council for the Humanities and the James Irvine Foundation to document the Hmong refugee culture of Central California and Northern Laos. The resulting project, Soul Calling, also served as Joel's thesis for an interdisciplinary master's degree in Documentary Studies and Southeast Asian Studies (California State University, Fresno 2009). His scholarly research also includes ethnographic field work on the Laotian language and culture.

In May, 2009 Joel Pickford became the first person ever to earn a masters degree in Documentary Studies. Read a short excerpt from his thesis defining Documentary Studies as an academic discipline.

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