I grew up along Colorado’s Front Range, and studied photography with Frank Gohlke as an undergraduate at Colorado College in the late 70s. I received my MFA in Photography at Yale School of Art, in 1987. I was chief photographer in publications and media relations at University of Colorado Boulder for fifteen years, during which time I met and showed work regularly to the photographer and writer Robert Adams. Both Gohlke and Adams have been my long time mentors in photography. I've had many wonderful teachers - formal and informal, intentional and not. I became a photographer in a time when the arts were siloed, actually a time when whether photography was an art at all was a question still being actively batted around.  Now photography is the art.

In 2002 my wife Jennifer, daughter Helen, and I moved to Asheville, NC, from Boulder, Colorado, where for 15 years I was the university photographer at CU Boulder. My son, Yohanes, came home to us in 2008. 

In 2006 I received a North Carolina Artists Fellowship for work I published in 2015, a book called, Useful Work: Photographs of Hickory Nut Gap Farm, about a historic farm and a remarkable family in Fairview, NC. Last year a panoramic image I made using a balloon/kite to lift a camera, of a Kentucky town below a mountaintop removal mine, was included in American Geography, at SFMOMA, Sandra Phillips, curator emerita. 

Ken Abbott CV

A visit to the studio...

Artist friend A.B. Moburg-Davis made this short video on a recent visit to my studio. It provides a poetic synopsis of my process and enthusiasms, complete with stick figures. Thanks A.B.!

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