Angela Franks Well

Angela Franks Wells is a photography-based artist who specializes in 19th century photographic processes and is a master of copperplate photogravure. Her work explores a range of ideas including the precious vs. ephemera; labor and craftsmanship; beauty; and place and/or space. As an educator, she is committed to facilitating creative thinking and skilled making with her students.

In her Parts & Labor series, Franks-Wells explores her fascination with labor. Being raised by a machinist and a mechanic; the necessity for hard work, skill, professionalism, and perseverance has been embedded in her being. Here, her subjects are independently owned local shops of skilled labor (mechanics, plumbers, welders, etc.). The images reflect the austerity of the environment, the value of mastered craftsmanship, and relationship between the shop and people working within.

For her series Copper Mine, Franks-Wells constructs a visual record of her journey to better understand how copper serves as a connection between industry and culture. This project was made possible through the generous support and funding from the Arizona Commission on the Arts 2010 Artist Project Grant.

Angela was born and raised in California and learned the value of craft and hard work from her parents: a machinist and a mechanic. In 2000, she received her BA in Studio Art and Psychology from Scripps College, CA. After spending three years teaching with Teach for America in rural North Carolina, she moved back west. In 2006, Angela received her MFA from Arizona State University. Currently, Angela is an Assistant Professor of Photography at East Carolina University in Greenville, NC. After living in the desert for 8 years, she is enjoying the lush greenery of the south, proper weather storms, and the benefits of natural humidity in the studio.