Biography


A native of Charlotte, NC, I'm a self-taught photographer and videographer who has worked at my craft for over 35 years. I've participated in numerous solo and invitational exhibitions across the country and internationally. My work is included in many museums and corporate and private collections, including the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, DC; the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh, NC; the Mint Museum of Art in Charlotte, NC; and the Bank of America collection. Through the years, while focusing on the development of my own visual messages and photographic techniques, I've often collaborated with other artists to bring awareness to certain groups of people who reside in the shadows, but whose strength and perseverance deserve to be celebrated. One of these projects was an Emmy-nominated video of an AIDS activist’s death entitled Just As I Am, which I worked on with the late Stuart Grasberg, an award-winning producer at WTVI. Another was the book As Long As The Waters Flow: Native Americans In The South and East, a collaboration with noted author Frye Gaillard that documented conditions in many Native American communities and tribes at the end of the last century. 



Artist Statement


I believe, as most artists do, that I'm driven to create, often without a clear understanding of why or what the work is “about” until after the fact. The surprises keep me going. I'm always seeking answers to unasked questions and my artwork is an attempt to engage others in this conversation. In the end, the work is the statement. It must stand or fall on its own.


All that said, across my landscapes and portraits there are common threads that emerge. In every image I create, there is a deeply personal interaction with my subjects. Whether I’m photographing people, places, or objects, dramatic and subtle changes of life are often reflected. From the sublime maturation of the young girls I photographed for When I Was Little… I Thought I Could Fly to the strange yet alluring juxtapositions created in Male Figure/Broken Doll to every new wrinkle found on the face of Pinky/MM Bass in the Infinite Grace series, I believe I’ve captured something altered, for better or for worse.



Selected Reviews


"A precipitous balance between the eye of the sitter and the controlling eye of the photographer charges the work of Carolyn DeMeritt. Portraiture presents important challenges and there is little room for compromise. DeMeritt achieves power in restraint, makes discoveries in people and great photographs of their spiritual and corporal selves." 


  - Ken Bloom, Director, Tweed Museum of Art, on DeMeritt's portraiture


"The single, small detail captures DeMeritt's eye—a broken, weathered statue of Christ lashed precariously to a fence, a caged bird and it's untethered mate, an outstretched skunk carcass melting into the earth as it decays. Her sharply focused, small-scale images are carefully distilled from a larger, unwieldy field of vision. They assume a symbolic presence, as DeMeritt empties out the greater confusion of the world. She looks intently at things that often go unnoticed, and sees them with a breathless sense of stillness and of portent. She savors details, which for her become microcosms and at times talismans. DeMeritt rarely monumentalizes her subject. Instead, she portrays a world of modesty and fragility." 


  - Susan Krane, curator, on A Tangle of Complexes: Photographing in Mexico 


"Frye Gaillard in words and Carolyn DeMeritt with images have filled a broad gap in our knowledge of tribes in the southern and eastern United States, past and present. Especially absorbing are the accounts of little-known but important peoples whose ancestors escaped removal to the west."


  - Dee Brown, author of Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee



Curriculum Vitae



Selected Awards


2017

Beyond the Frame Artist Grant, Wells Fargo, The Light Factory 


1998

National Endowment for the Arts Exhibition Support Grant 

Z. Smith Reynolds Exhibition Support Grant


1996

Bank of America Publication and Exhibition Support Grant


1995

North Carolina FilmMakers Award, Charlotte Film/Video Festival


1993

North Carolina FilmMakers Award, Charlotte Film/Video Festival


1992

Visual Artist Fellowship, North Carolina Arts Council 

Visual Artist Project Grant, North Carolina Arts Council 

North Carolina FilmMakers Award, Charlotte Film/Video Festival


1990

Southeast Media Fellowship, Appalshop, Whitesburg, Kentucky 

Best Short Documentary Award, Athens Film/Video, Athens, Ohio

Emerging Artist Grant, Charlotte Arts and Science Council 



Selected Collections


Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA


Mint Museum of Art, Charlotte, NC


The National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, DC


North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, NC


Levine Museum of the New South, Charlotte, NC


Asheville Art Museum, Asheville, NC


St. John’s Museum (now Cameron Museum of Art), Wilmington, NC


High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA


New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM


North Carolina Arts Council, Raleigh, NC


Gregg Museum, Raleigh, NC


Numerous Corporate and Private Collections 



Selected Solo Exhibitions


2019

Hydra+Fotografía, Mexico City, Mexico 


2018

Gadsden Museum of Art, Gadsden, AL


2004

Levine Museum of the New South, Charlotte, NC


2003

Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA (exhibit then traveled throughout VA

as part of Old Dominion/New Perspectives: The Persistence and Renewal of Southern Culture)


2002

William King Regional Arts Center, Abingdon, VA 

Arts in the Edge, Shreveport, LA


2001

Hollins University, Roanoke, VA 


2000

Native American Resource Center, UNC Pembroke,

NC St. John’s Museum of Art (now Cameron Art Museum), Wilmington, NC 


1999

The Light Factory, Charlotte, NC

Center for Creative Leadership, Greensboro, NC

Native American Resource Center, UNC Pembroke, NC

St. John’s Museum of Art (Cameron Art Museum), Wilmington, NC

 

1996

Asheville Art Museum, Asheville, NC

Virginia Intermont College, Bristol, VA 


1993

Atlanta Photography Group Gallery, Atlanta, GA 


1992

Center of the Earth Gallery, Charlotte, NC 



Selected Invitational and Group Exhibitions


2019

Hydra+Fotografia, Mexico City, Mexico

Wiregrass Museum, Dothan, AL


2018

USA Archaeology Museum, Mobile, AL

The Light Factory, Charlotte, NC 


2017 

Gregg Museum, Raleigh, NC

The Galleries, Cabarrus Arts Council, Concord, NC

Cameron Art Museum, Wilmington, NC

621N4TH Art Gallery, Wilmington, NC 


2016 

Mint Museum of Art, Charlotte, NC

SOCO Gallery, Charlotte, NC 

Frank Gallery, Chapel Hill, NC

Berry College, Mount Berry, GA

The Galleries, Cabarrus Arts Council, Concord, NC

Hodges Taylor, Charlotte, NC 


2015 

Atlanta Photography Group, Atlanta, GA 


2014 

North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, NC 

Jacksonville State University, Jacksonville, AL 

Babson Capital, Charlotte, NC


2013 

Projective Eye Gallery, UNC Charlotte Center City


2010

Mobile Museum of Art, Mobile, AL 


2009 

ASMS Gallery, Mobile, AL


2008 

Green Hill Center for North Carolina Art, Greensboro, NC


2007 

Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, Winston Salem, NC 


2006 

North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, NC 

Space 301, Mobile, AL


2005 

Greenhill Center for North Carolina Art, Greensboro, NC 

The Upstairs Gallery, Tryon, NC


2004 

New Mexico State University Art Gallery, Las Cruces, NM


2000 

Fairhope Cultural Center, Fairhope, AL 


1999 

Lewis Art Gallery at Millsaps College, Jackson, MS

Queens University, Charlotte, NC 


1998 

Rowe Arts Main Gallery, University of North Carolina, Charlotte, NC 


1997

CU Art Gallery, Boulder, CO 

Nexus, Atlanta, GA 

The Light Factory, Charlotte, NC


1996 

Society of Contemporary Photography, Kansas City, MO 

Birmingham Art Association, Birmingham, AL


1994

Galeria Bellas Artes, Oaxaca, Mexico 

Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, Winston-Salem, NC 


1993

Center for Photographic Art, Carmel, CA 


1991

Center for Photography, Washington, DC

Fabrik-Foto-Forum, Hamburg, Germany 


1989

National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, DC

(Exhibition traveled throughout North Carolina, 1989/90) 


1987

Santa Fe Center for Contemporary Photography, Santa Fe, NM

Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, Winston-Salem, NC 


1985

United Nations World Conference on Women, Nairobi, Kenya 



Selected Special Projects


2019

Presenting Artist, The Light Factory, Charlotte, NC


2016

Presenting Artist, Berry College, Mt. Berry, GA


2015

Undefeated Series inspired The Carolina Ballet Theater’s, Traces


2014

Panelist, Mint Museum of Art, Bearing Witness: The Photo League and Sonia Handelman Meyer 

Curated Pinky/MM Bass: Corporeal Veils Unraveled and Douglas Baulos: Bright Filament/Dark Effigy for The Light Factory, Charlotte, NC


2013

Presenting Artist, SPE Southeast Regional Conference, Charlotte, NC 


2005-06

Curatorial Consultant, Families of Abraham, a photography exhibition and book


2002

Presenting Artist, Mint Museum of Craft + Design, Charlotte, NC


2000

Presenting Artist, Viewpoints: Four Artists on Art, Mint Museum, Charlotte, NC 


1996-98

Produced seventy-two portraits for the book As Long As The Waters Flow: Native Americans in the South and East, by Frye Gaillard and Carolyn DeMeritt (Blair Publishers) 


1995

Produced A Change of Face, my photo installation with text and twenty-eight-minute video, Give Me My Flowers, combining my portraits with my audio interviews of women affected by HIV/AIDS; commissioned by YWCA of Central Carolinas and the Nalle Clinic 


1993

Co-produced, directed, co-fllmed (with Stuart Grasberg) Just As I Am, a video of an AIDS activist’s death, commissioned by Hospice of Rowan County and nominated for an Emmy Award 


1992

Co-curated Bank of America Corporate Center Photography Collection


1991

Produced When I Was Little...I Thought I Could Fly, a video program combining my portraits of young girls with my audio interviews of each girl


1987

Miracle on 19th Street, Jimmy Carter Work Project for Habitat for Humanity 



Selected Special Publications


2017

Show & Tell, Celebrating the Collections of the Gregg Museum of Art & Design (Book) 


2016

Carolina Art Crush by happeningsclt (Featured Artist Interview) 


2005

Eloisa (Cover photograph)


2000

Oxford American, Spring Issue, Southern Scenes 


1999

Oxford American, Fall, Portfolio Section

Oxford American, March-May

Art Papers May/June Issue, (Exhibition Review) 


1998

As Long As The Waters Flow: Native Americans in the South and East by Frye Gaillard and Carolyn DeMeritt, John H. Blair, Publishing, (Book) 


1997

North American Women Artists of the Twentieth Century: A Biographical Dictionary

Our State Magazine, November (Featured Artist Profile) 


1996

Tangle of Complexes: Photographing in Mexico (Exhibition Catalog)


1995 

If I Were a Carpenter: Twenty Years of Habitat for Humanity, by F. Gaillard, John H. Blair Pub. (Book) 

Women’s Voice, July/August Issue (Cover and Featured Artist Profile) 


1994

Southern Living Magazine, December (Featured Artist Profile) 

93/94 North Carolina Arts Council Artist Fellowships (Exhibition Catalog)


1992 

1992 Photographers Market (Featured Artist Profile) 


1991 

Photonews, Hamburg, Germany (Cover and Feature story)

Shots, Issue #29 


1990

Shots, Girls, Girls, Girls Issue, May

Shots, Love Issue, October (Cover)


1989

Nine From North Carolina (Catalog for National Museum for Women in the Arts) 

Shots, Toy Camera Issue, January

Photo District News, December 



Selected Video Screening


2000

Best of North Carolina Visions, UNC-TV Chapel Hill, NC


1999

Best of North Carolina Visions, UNC-TV Chapel Hill, NC


1997

San Francisco International G/L Film Festival, San Francisco, CA


1996

One World Screen Fest, Vancouver, Canada 

North Carolina Visions, UNC-TV Chapel Hill, NC 

Charlotte Film and Video Festival, Charlotte, NC (also 1992 & 1995) 


1995

American Cultural Festival, Schwerin, Mecklenburg, Germany 

International Women’s Summit, Seoul, Korea

Charlotte Film and Video Festival, Charlotte, NC

North Carolina Visions, UNC-TV Public Television, Chapel Hill, NC 


1994 

Black Maria Film Festival, New York, NY

WTVI-42, Charlotte, NC 

Video Shorts, Department of Art and Humanities, U of T, Dallas, TX 

Social Outcast Film and Video Festival, Atlanta, GA


1992

Athens Film and Video Festival, Athens, OH 

Community Cinema Program, Bravo Network

Charlotte Film and Video Festival, Charlotte, NC