Heather Renée Russ is an interdisciplinary artist and arts organizer living in Brooklyn, New York who works in photography, video and installation to make work that is about queer femme representation and holding space for queer artists. She works with queer signifiers, organic materials and relational portraiture to create installations about scarcity, displacement and celebration.
She received her MFA in Photography, Video and Related Media from School of Visual Arts in New York City where she was the recipient of the Alice Beck-Odette Scholarship and the Thomas Reiss Memorial Award. Heather Reneé’s photography, video and installation work has been exhibited in a wide variety of venues including New York galleries such as Cinders, Space Create, Garner Arts Center as well as in The Guggenheim Stillspotting NYC project and SF Camerawork Gallery in San Francisco and Visitor Welcome Center in LA. She recently completed a residency on Governors Island in New York City and has forthcoming residencies at Vermont Studio Center and Studios at MASS MoCA.
Heather Renée has also exhibited in and organized countless events in the thriving underground art scenes where she is most at home-most notably spaces in NYC, Beijing and San Francisco. Creating spaces for artists to engage one another is an important part of her practice. Prior to moving to New York from San Francisco in 2009 she was a well known and trusted photographer in the underground queer arts scene. For over a decade she documented (and participated in) performance, collaborations, films, queer activism and nightlife. She is currently working on a photobook representing this time.
In 2006 Heather Renée shifted her focus to creating spaces. She founded Cutter Photozine, a collaborative photography publication dedicated to artists photographing their own lives. This same year she co-founded Club Feral, a multi-gender queer art, performance, and dance space. The proceeds from each night went to fund a different creative project within the community.
Heather Renée continues to serve the artists in her community and currently serves on the board of directors for MIX NYC, a queer experimental film festival in New York that is in its thirty-second year. She is also currently a member and organizer of the Bermuda Triangle artist collective at 7 Belvidere in Brooklyn. In 2016 she founded Lair Fera, a queer collaborative art space in Brooklyn where she currently resides. The experience of creating spaces for queer artists in ever shifting environments directly informs her work.