Shannon Johnstone

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Mary Shannon Johnstone received her BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and MFA in photography from Rochester Institute of Technology. She is the recipient of numerous awards including “Pause, To Begin” artist, Critical Mass Top 50 (2009, 2010), and Honorable Mention in Lens Culture’s 2010 International Exposure Awards. Her most recent project “Landfill Dogs” became a 2013 Critical Mass Finalist, received “Best in Show” at “Puppy Love” exhibition in GA, and is one of the 2014 Review Santa Fe 100. “Landfill Dogs” has been featured in national and international exhibitions and magazines, and was on ABC World News with Diane Sawyer in December 2013, and CNN’s website in November 2014. Johnstone is a tenured Associate Professor at Meredith College in Raleigh, NC. Shannon received a CAF grant to continue her work on “Breeding Ignorance,” a series of photographs on animals in shelters.

2021 Updates:

The photography series was renamed the “North Carolina Rural Shelter Project.” In collaboration with the North Carolina Chapter of Humane Society of the United States, the series highlighted the work being done by open admission animal shelters in rural parts of North Carolina. Since summer of 2021, Shannon has continued her work to feature stories of homeless pets with a new photography project tentatively titled “Homeless to Home.”  Shannon has started riding along with Animal Control Officers in different counties of North Carolina to follow the journey of homeless pets, from being picked up by Animal Control to being moved through the complicated and sometimes bumpy foster and rescue system—often crossing state lines.