Wendy Watriss, Artistic Director
Wendy Watriss is a photographer, curator, journalist,
and writer. She is one of the founders of FotoFest,
the internationally known photographic arts and education
organization based in Houston, Texas. She has served
as FotoFest's artistic director since 1991. Watriss
began her professional career as a reporter and writer
for national newspapers in the U.S. and later became
a producer of news documentaries for national public
television in New York.
From 1970 to 1992, she worked internationally as a
professional photographer. In her editorial and photojournalistic
work, she has covered the 1968 political upheavals in
East and Central Europe, the effects of drought in the
African Sahel, civil wars in Nicaragua and El Salvador,
the lives of U.S. veterans of the Vietnam War affected
by the herbicide Agent Orange, and the political history
of Texas’ cultural frontiers. Her photographic
work has been published and exhibited around the world,
and she is the recipient of numerous international awards
for her photography.
Watriss is the author of numerous essays on international
politics as well as photography. She is the editor/producer
of the bilingual book IMAGE AND MEMORY, Photography
from Latin America 1866 -1994 (University of Texas Press,
1998) - recipient of American Publisher Association's
Art Book of the Year Award (1999), the Golden Light
Award for the Best Photography Book of the Year (1998),
and Choice's 35th Annual Outstanding Academic Books
list (1998). She co-authored the book, COMING TO TERMS,
The German Hill Country of Texas (Texas A&M University
Press, 1991). Watriss has worked extensively in Latin
America, Europe, Africa, and Asia.
As curator and artistic director for FotoFest, Watriss
has organized exhibits from Europe, Latin America, Asia,
Africa, and the U.S. She is fluent in two foreign languages,
French and Spanish.
Recipient of grants for photography from The National
Endowment for the Humanities, National Endowment for
the Arts/Mid-Atlantic Arts Alliance, The Rockefeller
Foundation, The Texas State Historical Foundation, The
Sid Richardson Foundation, the Texas Committee for the
Humanities among others. Recipient of awards from The
World Press Foundation (The Netherlands), Oskar Barnack
Award, Missouri School of Journalism 'Pictures of the
Year', The XI International Interpress Photo and The
Women's International Democratic Federation (Germany).
Numerous one-person museum exhibitions in the U.S.,
Western and Eastern Europe, Canada, Mexico. Work included
in collections at The Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth,
Texas; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; The Humanities
Research Center, University of Texas at Austin; Bibliothèque
Nationale in Paris; Musée de la Photographie,
Charleroi, Belgium, and numerous private collections.
Fellow of the American Leadership Forum (1992). Co-founder
of public foundation for social justice, The Live Oak
Fund for Change (1980-1992). Recipient of 'Woman On
The Move' Award from the Houston Post and Texas Executive
Women (1990). Founding member of FotoFest. Member of
Advisory Board of the Texas Photographic Society and
Board of Directors of the Texas Low Income Housing Service.
Panelist and juror for National Endowment for the Arts,
regional and state arts councils, international juried
exhibitions and international photography conferences.