Wendi Schneider is a Denver-based visual artist widely known for her ongoing series of hand-gilded photographs, States of Grace –– illuminated impressions of grace in the natural world. Drawn to the serenity she finds in the sinuous elegance of organic forms, she embraces photography to preserve vanishing moments of beauty in our vulnerable environment. Schneider has perfected a gilding process in which her images seemingly dance on the paper’s surface amidst reflections of light on precious metals, creating a synthesis of technique and subject.
Born in Memphis, TN in 1955, Schneider grew up in a family of artists, later earning an AA in Art History from Stephens College and a BA in Painting from Newcomb College at Tulane University. Her interest in photography germinated in the early 1980s with the use of a camera to reference models for oil paintings. Mesmerized by the possibilities of the photographic art form and the alchemy of the darkroom, yet missing the sensuousness of oils, Schneider began to layer oils on photographs to manipulate the boundaries between the real and the imagined. This process laid the groundwork for the unique layering and gilding that would later become the foundation of States of Grace.
In 1988, Schneider moved to New York City and began a diverse and successful career that included fine art commissions, photography for magazines, book covers, and advertising, and later (after a move to Denver in 1994) design and art direction. In 2012, she began to produce a collection of photographs featuring flora and fauna – the States of Grace series, which was to become her signature body of work.
Schneider’s photographs are held in the permanent collections of The New Orleans Museum of Art, The Center for Creative Photography, The Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, The Auburn University Library Special Collections, and The Try-Me Collection (among others), as well as numerous private collections. Her work has been published and exhibited extensively in solo and group exhibitions worldwide including AIPAD and Art Basel. Schneider is represented by A Gallery for Fine Photography in New Orleans, Catherine Couturier Gallery in Houston, and Galeria PhotoGraphic in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.
Schneider is a collector of art and objects from the turn of the 20th century – primarily Art Nouveau, Arts & Crafts and photogravures. She has juried several successful exhibitions and sits on the executive board of the Colorado Photographic Arts Center.