Samantha DiRosa

Associate Professor of Art and Environmental Studies
Elon West-406 W. Haggard Ave. 102D
2810 Campus Box
Elon, NC 27244 (336) 278-5643

Brief Biography


Hovering between poetic interpretation and objective documentation, Samantha DiRosa’s hybrid-media installations consist of such objects as appropriated images from scientific texts, cast silver bubble wands paired with found insects, vintage medical terminology study cards, and samples of sediment juxtaposted with abstract landscapes. She is primarily interested in the human urge to collect, objectify, control, and sentimentalize experience, as well as the persistent societal need to mediate our relationship to the present moment and to the natural environment. The role of specimens, mementos, and documents, in both personal and institutional archives, has informed her work, which makes use of sound, text, object, and image to underscore the tension between natural and unnatural, truth and contrived reality, permanence and that which disappears. DiRosa’s work has been exhibited widely, and includes solo and group exhibitions at Washington Project for the Arts (Washington, DC), The Torpedo Factory (Alexandria, VA) Portland Art Center (Portland, OR), Keki Gallery (Budapest, Hungary), 1078 Gallery (Chico, CA), TIXE Artspace (New York, NY), Manifest Creative Research Gallery (Cincinnati, OH), CEPA (Buffalo, NY) and Fort Collins Museum of Contemporary Art (Fort Collins, CO).

Samantha DiRosa's teaching embodies a holistic intermedia approach, where processual, theoretical, cultural, and technical inquiries are interwoven.  Joining Elon University in 2007, DiRosa teaches in the Photography and Intermedia area, with an emphasis in Time-Based media, Environmental Art, and Visual Culture Studies.  Also a secondary faculty member of the Environmental Studies Department, in 2008 DiRosa was named a Sustainability Scholar, and in 2010 she was named a Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning Scholar for her research project (Un)common Partnerships for a Common Purpose: Focusing on Art/Science Relationships in the Study of Environmental Art.  Before coming to Elon, DiRosa taught Photography, Video, and Digital Art at Washington State University, University of Oregon, and Anderson Art Ranch.


Certification in Sustainable Building and Design from Yestermorrow Design/Build School, Waitsfield, Vermont

Permaculture Design Certification, Greensboro, NC

Master of Fine Arts – Visual Design  University of Oregon, Eugene, OR

Master of Fine Arts – Photography  University of Oregon, Eugene, OR

Bachelor of Fine Arts – Photography  Long Island University, Southampton, NY  Summa Cum Laude

Professional Development Workshops

The Work that Reconnects with Joanna Macy

Contemplative Environmental Studies: Pedagogy for Self and Planet   Instructors:  Paul Wapner, Matthew Jelacic, Richard Falk, Nicole Salimbene, David Abram; The Lama Foundation, San Cristobal, NM

Responding to Gesture and Bodies: Design for Physically-Based Interactive Art   Instructor:  Camille Utterback; Anderson Art Ranch, Snowmass Village, CO

Employment History

Elon University
Associate Professor of Art; secondary appointment in Environmental Studies

Washington State University
Assistant Professor of Video, Photography, and Digital Art

Courses Taught

ART 114 Time Arts
ART 339 Eco-Art
ART 260 Introduction to Photography and Intermedia
ART 362 Video Art and Animation
ART 462 Advanced Projects in Video Art and Animation
ART 272 Video Art
GST/WG 344 The Camera Eye, The Camera I

Grants Awarded

Faculty Research and Development Reassigned Time   Fall semester 2014   Elon University

Faculty Research and Development Sabbatical    Spring semester 2013 + $2500 research funding   Elon University 

Fund for Excellence Grant for The Living Studio   $3350   Elon University
Faculty Research and Development Summer Fellowship   $8000 stipend + $4450 research funding   Elon University 
Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning Grant for The Living Studio   $2000   Elon University

Associate Provost Special Grant forElegies from the Medical Terminology Study Card Series   $7150   Elon University

VPLAC Grant for the project In(n) and Out of Nowhere   $500   Washington State University, Pullman, WA

Program Excellence Scholarship   $1500   Anderson Art Ranch, Snowmass Village, CO

College of Liberal Arts Initiation and Completion Grant   $2000   Washington State University, Pullman, WA



Selected exhibitions/screenings:
Ricochet and If I’m Lost - Now   Part of STACKS DVD release tour.  Performances at: University of North             Carolina Greensboro; University of North Carolina Chapel Hill; Westminster Academy, FL; Georgia State       University; University of North Florida; University of Florida; University of Central Florida; Stetson                     University, FL; University of Miami, FL

Ricochet   Single-channel videos/live music performances, North American Saxaphone Alliance conference,
      University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign  (Juried)
If I’m Lost - Now   Single-channel videos/live music performance, University of North Carolina Greensboro           (Commissioned)

Reflections  Target Gallery at the Torpedo Factory Art Center, Alexandria, VA  (Juried)
Ricochet   Single-channel video/live music performance, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, University         of North Carolina Greensboro, University of West Virginia, University of South Carolina, University of               Georgia, Georgia Southern University, Columbus State University, and Middle Tennessee State                     University (Commissioned)

Palimpsest   Washington Project for the Arts, Washington, DC
Watered Down   K Space Contemporary, Corpus Cristi, TX
Flora/Fauna   Fine Arts Center of Hot Springs, Hot Springs, AK   
Biotic Semiotics   Allen Priebe Gallery, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, Oshkosh, WI  

2011 Faculty Exhibit   Elon University, Elon, NC

Photos With Words   Vermont Photography Workplace, Middlebury, VT  
Focal_Resolution-1   Climate Gallery, Long Island City, NY
Going Digital  Foreman Gallery, Hartwick College, Oneonta, NY
Desire Line   Site-specific work at The Lama Foundation, San Cristobal, NM  

Ritual and Repetition   CEPA Gallery, Buffalo, NY  

Gathered Bodies   Riley Photographic Gallery, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN 

Salt, Silver, Wax, Earth  Arts West Gallery, Elon University, Elon, NC
Notturno   New Music Festival, University of North Carolina, Greensboro, Greensboro, NC  
Mapping Meg Ryan  Light and Sound Gallery, Portland Art Center, Portland, OR  
Mapping Meg Ryan  Prichard Gallery, University of Idaho, Moscow, ID
Data Poïesis  Anderson Art Ranch, Snowmass Village, CO
Magnitude 7  Manifest Creative Research Gallery, Cincinnati, OH
Ritual and Repetition  Richmond Center Galleries, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI
Notturno   Festival of Contemporary Art Music, Pullman, WA  

Mourning Lightness  1078 Gallery, Chico, CA
Mutual.ities  Focal Point Gallery, Minnesota State University, Moorhead, MN 
Signals from/about Central-Europe II   Keki Gallery, Budapest, Hungary
Reasonable/Unreasonable: A New Normalizing Discourse  Ouch My Eye, Seattle, WA 
Loop Sanctuary III, Dreams in Bursts Video Festival  The Chapel and Cultural Center at Rensselaer, Troy, NY
Being in Body  Dee Shaw Gallery, Weber State University, Ogden, UT

Special Projects:
The Living Studio  Site-specific collaborative building project to turn a vintage Lord and Burnham greenhouse into an environmental/installation art project space; with Robert Charest, Michael Fels and Matthew Jelacic at Elon University, Elon, NC

Arts West Victory Garden   Site-specific urban garden/”all life” community space; collaboration with Elon Art and Environmental Studies students, Elon, NC

In(n) and Out of Nowhere   Community public art project with 10 regional NW artists   Cougarland Motel, Pullman, WA Curator)


“Poignant Actions”   Sustainability and the Arts Symposium, University of North Carolina Greensboro, Greensboro, NC

“At the Intersection of Art and Contemplative Practice”   Contemplative Mind in Higher Education, National Conference, Amherst  College, Amherst, MA

“The Role of Contemplative Practices in Fostering Art/Science Partnerships in Ecological Art Projects”   Contemplative Mind in Higher Education, NW Regional Conference, Whidbey Island, WA

“Agency, Mobility, and the Filmic Experience”   International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, Annual Conference, Liverpool, UK

“Gathering Dust: Sediment/Sentiment   Geo-Aesthetics in the Anthropocene Conference, Salisbury University, Salisbury, MD
“Mapping Meg Ryan”  Panel: Borders, Boundaries, and Places Inbetween   SURF, Elon University, Elon, NC

“Agency, Mobility, and the Filmic Experience”  Panel: More Than Words: Visual Culture and the Liberal Arts Curriculum; Innovation in Instruction Conference, Elon University, Elon, NC

“Mapping Meg Ryan”   Panel: Tracing the Moving Image: Intersections of Fine Art and Cinema, SECAC conference, New Orleans, LA

Gathering Dust:  Sediment/Sentiment”   Panel: Mapping Unexpected Geographies, SECAC conference, Charleston, WV

“Mapping Meg Ryan”  Artist lecture  Portland Art Center, Portland, OR

“Mourning Lightness”  Artist lecture   1078 Gallery, Chico, CA


Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning Scholar for the project (Un)Common Partnerships for a Common Purpose: Focusing on Art/Science Relationships in the Study of Environmental Art   Elon University, Elon, NC

Sustainability Faculty Scholar  Elon University, Elon, NC