Don Usner

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Celebrated native New Mexican photographer Don Usner has been making portraits of Lannan Foundation guest speakers since 1997. Usner has photographed hundreds of unique characters, capturing on film the personalities of famous writers, poets, Nobel Laureates and social activists. From Toni Morrison to Gore Vidal, Lawrence Ferlinghetti to Amy Goodman, and Susan Sontag to Robert Creeley and Cornel West, Usner’s subjects include many of the 20th Century’s most distinguished thinkers.

Don Usner (www.donusner.com) was born in Embudo, near Taos, New Mexico in 1957 and spent his youth in Los Alamos and Chimayó. His family has a long history in the Rio Grande Valley, and its landscape and history have been a significant inspiration in his photography. Usner’s work has been presented in several exhibitions and publications, including Sabino’s Map: Life in Chimayó’s Old Plaza and, with William deBuys, Valles Caldera: A Vision for New Mexico’s National Preserve, as well as a collection of folk tales told by his grandmother, Benigna’s Chimayó, Cuentos from the Old Plaza. Usner has served as Lannan Foundation’s official photographer since 1997.

During his three-week Lannan residency, Don Usner worked on a book documenting the cultural life of Chimayó, New Mexico. In his final report to the foundation he stated that “…rather than a simple recounting of facts or a catalogue of elements of place, I felt compelled to create semi-fictional vignettes. To produce them, I had to stretch my writing and imagining abilities in ways that I hadn’t anticipated.”

This forthcoming work will be published in both English and Spanish. When he is not writing, Mr. Usner works as a professional photographer. He lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Don Usner elsewhere on Lannan.org

Don Usner , (Residency)
Don Usner , (Bios)
The Faces of Lannan: Celebrating 15 Years of Lannan Events in Santa Fe , (Art)

Don Usner around the Web

Don Usner's website

Artworks



Lihn Dihn Readings Conversations Author Don Usner

Linh Dihn, Readings & Conversations, 2008

Medium: Archival pigment print on paper
Size: 20 x 16 inches
Date: 27 February 2008

Current Lannan Art Collection

Terrance Hayes Readings Conversations Author Don Usner 1

Terrance Hayes, Readings & Conversations, 2006

Medium: Archival pigment print on paper
Size: 20 x 16 inches
Date: 15 November 2006

Current Lannan Art Collection

Lorrie Moore Readings Conversations Author Don Usner

Lorrie Moore, Readings & Conversations, 2011

Medium: Archival pigment print on paper
Size: 20 x 16 inches
Date: 19 January 2011

Current Lannan Art Collection

Breyten Breytenbach Readings Conversations Author Don Usner

Breyten Breytenbach, Readings & Conversations, 2009

Medium: Archival pigment print on paper
Size: 20 x 16 inches
Date: 18 November 2009

Current Lannan Art Collection

Mario Vargas Llosa Readings Conversations Author Don Usner 1

Mario Vargas Llosa, Readings & Conversations, 2006

Medium: Archival pigment print on paper
Size: 20 x 16 inches
Date: 5 April 2006

Current Lannan Art Collection

Arundhati Roy Readings Conversations Author Don Usner

Arundhati Roy, Readings & Conversations, 2010

Medium: Archival pigment print on paper
Size: 20 x 16 inches
Date: 24 March 2010

Current Lannan Art Collection

W S Merwin Readings Conversations Author Don Usner

W.S. Merwin, Readings & Conversations, 2005

Medium: Archival pigment print on paper
Size: 20 x 16 inches
Date: 26 October 2005

Current Lannan Art Collection

Michelle Alexander Cultural Freedom Author Don Usner

Michelle Alexander, Cultural Freedom, 2012

Medium: Archival pigment print on paper
Size: 12 x 15 inches
Date: 12 September 2012

Current Lannan Art Collection

Wallace Shawn Readings Conversations Author Don Usner

Wallace Shawn, Readings & Conversations, 1999

Medium: Archival pigment print on paper
Size: 16 x 20 inches
Date: 15 December 1999

Current Lannan Art Collection

Lensic Theater Marquee Readings Conversations Author Don Usner

Lensic Theatre Marquee, Readings & Conversations, 1999

Medium: Archival pigment print on paper
Size: 16 x 20 inches
Date: 10 November 1999

Current Lannan Art Collection