Colleen Gutwein O’Neal


Colleen Gutwein O’Neal is a photographer and curator from the Northeastern United States. O’Neal’s work is focused on the human experience through community engagement.

Colleen uses her photography as a way to build lasting relationships with her community. In her most recent longterm work, The Newark Artists Photo Documentary Project, O’Neal pays tribute to, and immortalizes through photographs, 90 plus artists within the Newark arts community. The project acknowledges the industrial and photographic history of Newark by incorporating the use of film cameras manufactured in the city in the 1940s. This process results in etherial portraits of the artists and ever-changing landscape of the city they inhabit. The project also champions artists by using the digital form of the medium to create and share intimate portraits of the artists and their works online.

A natural extension to her photographic work, O’Neal curates contemporary exhibitions inspired by the artists she has built relationships with. Her curatorial approach is in collaboration with the artists. It explores socially conscious themes and provides space for conceptual and experimental works. As an extension of her community involvement, one major focus of the exhibitions is to create opportunities for artists to identify with each other.

O’Neal is an Adjunct Professor of Photography and Contemporary Art at Rutgers University Newark, a volunteer at Index Art Center, and Community Partner at Shine Portrait Studio. Colleen has been exhibiting work since 2004, and her printed work is included in HYCIDE and Nowhere magazines. Her book, The Camera I Always Wanted, has been acquired by the Newark Public Library and the Thomas J. Watson Library at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Selected Works