(Gainesville, Florida, 1946 - )
Lives Urbana, Illinois
Bea Nettles is among a group of pioneering artists who in the late 1960s and early 70s began using alternative photographic techniques to explore aspects of their emotional life in a symbolic rather than documentary manner. A leader in the movement, Nettles augments her photographs with applied color, stitching, textiles and text. She is an innovator in photomechanical printmaking who uses photographic imagery with a variety of processes. She is also widely known for her self published artist’s books. Her classic textbook Breaking the Rules: A Photo Media Cookbook has reached two generations of students.
Nettles has been exhibiting and publishing her artwork beginning in 1970. Since that time, she has had more than fifty one-person exhibitions and hundreds of group exhibitions, received two NEA fellowships and seen her works included in numerous museum collections. Nettles was one of the artists featured in the Akron Art Museum’s national touring exhibition, A History of Women Photographers, in the mid 1990s.
A native of Florida, Nettles received her bachelor’s degree in painting from the University of Florida. She received her master’s in photography from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana. She taught from 1970-2007 at Rochester Institute of Technology, Tyler School of Art and the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, where she is currently Professor Emerita.