Lecturer of Photography
Rachel Fein-Smolinski is an artist and educator who was raised in Buffalo, NY and holds a B.F.A. from the San Francisco Art Institute and an M.F.A. from Syracuse University. Fein-Smolinski has exhibited internationally and is the recipient of numerous awards, residencies, and publications, including, the 2020 Artist Residency at LATITUDE in Chicago, IL, the 2019 Visual Studies Workshop residency, Duke University's Archive of Documentary Arts and History of Medicine's Research grant, the 2018 Wynn Newhouse Award for Artists of Excellence with Disabilities, and the Silver Eye Center for Photography’s Fellowship 19 International Award Honorable Mention. Her 2019 video, Referred Pain, was shown in the Video in America exhibition at The Everson Museum in Syracuse, NY, SPACES in Cleveland, OH, and Silver Eye Center for Photography in Pittsburgh, PA. She has had solo shows at The Buffalo Institute for Contemporary Art, The Griffin Museum of Photography, and SUNY Upstate Medical University’s Health Sciences Library.
Fein-Smolinski’s work injects science-fictional visual strategies into the authoritative aesthetics of biology and medicine to address issues of courage, pain, neuroses, and the power dynamics embedded in the Western healthcare system. Her work incorporates photography, video, sculpture, and installation, and she often works with materials from medical archives. She has previously worked as the Digital Services Coordinator at Light Work, a nonprofit photography organization in Syracuse, NY, and is currently a Photography Lecturer in The School of Art + Design at The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.