Ann Kaplan is an educator, an artist who both practices and writes about photography, and a cultural worker with over twenty years of experience working with non-profit organizations in arts and education like SPE to meet their goals. Before joining academe, Kaplan served as curator at the North Carolina Museum of History, research specialist at Duke University, and director of the Orange County Arts Commission. In all of these positions, she collaborated with organizations, their staff, and boards to clarify and reach their programmatic, financial, and diversity, equity, and inclusion goals. Kaplan has been a member of the Society of Photographic Education since 2011, co-organized and presented in "Loop de loop, in The Feedback Loop of Contemporary Feminisms: Teaching, Learning, and Making" at SPE's 50th Annual Conference, and in (post-election) 2017 was an invited presenter by the combined Multicultural, Pride, and Women's Causes in the at the "Strategies of Resistance" panel. She has been funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Institute for Museum and Library Services, South Arts, and the Ford Foundation. Kaplan has also been awarded two artist residencies with fellowships at the Vermont Studio Center.
Currently an associate professor at Appalachian State University in the mountains of western North Carolina, Kaplan previously served as visiting assistant professor at Elon University and Philippines Women's University in Manila, Philippines. Her photographic work and teaching consider issues of difference, privilege, and the potential of rights for humans and other beings. She teaches classes such as Photography as Social Critique, serves as faculty affiliate with Gender, Women's and Sexuality Studies, Global Studies, and the Graduate Faculty, and is the founder of a new program in Creative Engagement & Social Change. She is in the final throes of a PhD from the European Graduate School and holds an MFA from Clemson University, an MA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a BA from the University of Mary Washington, and a Certificate in Non-Profit Management from Duke University.
Kaplan exhibits nationally and internationally, with solo exhibitions at the Institut für Politikwissenschaft, Universität Münster, Germany; Department of Digital Arts, University of Malta; tête gallery, Berlin, Germany; De La Salle University, Manila, Philippines and group exhibitions at Czong Institute for Contemporary Art, Seoul, South Korea; Manchester School of Art, UK; Amos Eno Gallery, Brooklyn, NY; Academy of Visual Arts, Hong Kong Baptist University; Venice International University, Venice, Italy; and the Hillyer Art Space, Washington, DC, among others. She believes in keeping meetings short, sharing chocolate, the occasional necessity of cursing as punctuation, and practicing kindness.
My intentions for potentially serving on the board Society of Photographic Education include these:
1. Listen deeply to students, teachers, and independents about their educational wants and needs,
2. Use my decades of experience in non-profit management to benefit SPE and its members,
3. Make SPE the most welcoming organization possible for everyone involved in the study of photography,
4. Ensure the future of SPE through careful planning, teamwork, hard and strategic work,
5. Take care that we appreciate one another and have fun at the same time.