Donald Camp

Photographer and Educator

Don Camp began his career in photography as a talented newspaper photographer. After ten years as a photojournalist, Camp sought a degree in the fine arts. With his forceful yet intimate portraits of African American men, Camp quickly established himself as an important new voice in contemporary art.

Camp holds both a BFA and an MFA from Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia and is the subject of an American Artist Oral History at the Smithsonian Institute. He has been honored for his work with a John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, and a Pew Fellowship in the Arts. Camp has exhibited at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, the Institute for Contemporary Art, the Delaware Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Noyes Museum. Camp's work is included in a number of important public and private collections including the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. As an artist in residence, Camp is now an Assistant Professor at Ursinus College.

Camp’s work is characterized by both the unique process he uses to produce his prints as well as his in-depth exploration of the dignity and nobility that can be found in the human face. Camp’s printing methods are based on early non-silver photographic development processes. He has adapted these processes by using photosensitized earth pigments--essentially dust. His materials invest his powerful portraits with a profoundly tangible, human quality. Camp works intently on each print, and he typically makes only one print for each subject. With his ongoing series, Dust Shaped Hearts, Camp has sought to counter stereotypes of African American men, presenting images of men who have quietly yet profoundly enriched our culture. Recently, the series has grown to include men and women of all races, acknowledging that the struggle against ignorance and intolerance is a universal one. His arresting subject matter combined with his unique printing process yield a body of work that investigates history, humanity, and beauty.