Marilyn Nance © Albert Chong, 1985

Marilyn Nance © Albert Chong, 1985

Marilyn Nance is an American visual artist known for her images of 20th century African American life—spirituality, music, art, and African retentions, She grew up through many movements—The Civil Rights Movement, Black Power, Black Arts, Anti War, Students Rights, the Women’s Movement, and the Anti-Apartheid Movement.

Nance is the matriarch of the intergenerational, interdisciplinary art collective, The Santana Project. 

A two-time finalist for the W. Eugene Smith Award in Humanistic Photography, her photographs can be found in the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and in the Library of Congress.

Nance's photographs have been published in The World History of Photography, History of Women in Photography, and The Black Photographers Annual. Her writing, which often accompanies her photographs, has been published by Aperture, The New York Foundation for the Arts, and the Friends of Photography. She is the recipient of the New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowships in Photography (2000 and 1989), Nonfiction Literature (1993), and the New York State Council of the Arts Individual Artists Grant (1987).

A graduate of New York University's Interactive Telecommunications Program (Tisch School of the Arts), Nance is an African American digital pioneer; she created the "Soulsista" website in 1994, was one of the Internet's first radio disc jockeys in 1996, and in 1998 produced an interactive web site based on an African divination system. Nance served as the Curator of Photography for the Digital Schomburg Web Project, selecting for Internet publication, over 500 images of 19th century African Americans, from collections of the research libraries of the New York Public Library. Additionally, Nance holds a B.F.A. in Communications Graphic Design from Pratt Institute, and an M.F.A. in Photography from the Maryland Institute College of Art.

Nance is a technology evangelist who encourages people of all ages to see themselves as designers, producers, and owners of information. She is currently sharing her experiences with other artists, organizing and protecting her archive, and exploring digital assets management.