Dawn O’Connell, a native Vermonter and self taught artist, has been a working photographer since the 1990’s.
O’Connell’s work focuses on the discarded, downcast, overlooked or unseen, forgotten, stigmatized enigmatic and absurd. O’Connell sees her work as a process of giving voice to others by documenting and photographing the events that surround us; as well as bring forth the beauty in the chaos of everyday life. She creates works of art the juncture between photojournalism and fine art photography.
O’Connell has taken her art into the community and presented it as an instrument social change through her street portraits of the downcast and forgotten. She uses her art as a bridge with her audience – and through the emotional connection created through her work, elicits empathy in the viewers for societal outsiders. This visual conversation engenders greater tolerance in a rapidly changing multicultural world.
O’Connell’s photography business, Shoot Me Photography, has been the vehicle for her conduct art photography, portraiture, street photography, and thematic installation within community projects.
In addition to many volunteer projects, including partnering with CEDO, VT Business for Social Responsibility, for the benefit of the community and challenged individuals and groups, O’Connell has had a number of exhibitions, events and shows over the last several years.
“I have worked extensively in the most culturally diverse community in Vermont: the Old North End of Burlington, and have strived to bring life, tourism and business back into the community through my art. Over the years, I have also worked with disabled, the stigmatized, and the homeless who are often “invisible.” I help give them voice. While my art has beauty, it also has meaning that deeply touches the viewer.”