Danielle Ellen Owensby (she/they), also known by the acronym of her full name, "deo," is an artist and writer who graduated from Columbia College Chicago with a MFA in Photography in 2017. Deo has shown their work internationally in venues such as the Knockdown Center in New York, New York; Melbourne Art Center in Melbourne, Australia; University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and the Grand Rapids Art Museum in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Their visual work focuses on contemporary applications of photography as a versatile medium to understand the intricacies of human emotion, experience, and existence. In this vein, she incorporates installation, performance, collage, and time-based media to explore the complex emotions behind memory, trauma, loss, and nostalgia. Often drawing from personal encounters as well as universal human experiences, Owensby endeavors to create visual dialogues that resonate with viewers on a profound and empathetic level.
She has taught in a variety of institutional contexts, from K-12 to private art schools and private tutoring to community colleges. Their pedagogy is based in culturally responsive teaching practices and teaching photography as a tool for individual and collective empowerment.
Currently, deo is a photography instructor at Washtenaw Community College in Ann Arbor, MI and is a ProjectArt Teaching Artists in Residence for the City of Detroit. She is also the editor of The Jade Plant Project, an open and free publication dedicated to sharing the stories of survivors of sexual violence.
When they aren't working, they love to take care of their houseplants and sing passionately (yet out of tune,) in the car.