Originally from Seattle, Manya received her BA from Bard College in 2005 and her MFA from UCLA in 2008. She has exhibited her work extensively throughout the United States, and was included in the 2009 Collector’s Guide to Emerging Art Photography, published by the Humble Arts Foundation. Manya has had extensive teaching experience at both the UCLA and LACMA teen summer programmes, and as a guest lecturer at various institutions including Bard College, Sheridan College and UCLA. In 2009, Manya participated in two artist residencies, the Jentel Artist Residency Program in Banner Wyoming, and the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts in Nebraska City, Nebraska. Manya currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.
“These photographs were taken with a large format field camera while exploring the Western and Midwestern states of America in 2009. Exploring the areas outside of major cities, attention is paid to tourism, recreation, and nature. Documenting these ageing and dated places with only available light, they come to represent an antidote to a globalized culture. At once they seem to be in conversation with the chain-brand stores down the street, symbolizing a brighter time that is now past. Considering the humor and beauty in the subtleties of my photographic exploration, I set out to tell the incomplete and evolving story of what America looks like. I am attracted to tension between nature and the artificial and how that anxiety plays itself out in the American landscape.”