Photographer MJ Sharp is an artist and educator based in Durham, North Carolina. A Tennessee native, she came to Duke University as an undergraduate ready to major in chemistry, but one art history survey course with Professor Rona Goffen derailed her into the humanities and left her with a lifelong love of art history, which conveniently, continues to be pertinent to the study of contemporary photography. She worked closely with writers and reporters on both short and longform journalism stories as the staff photographer and photography editor at the Independent in Durham for most of the 1990’s. During much of that time she also freelanced regionally for The New York Times, The New York Times Magazine, PBS’s Frontline, The Columbia Journalism Review, and The Ford Foundation, among others. She went on to earn her Master of Fine Arts degree from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2007 and was subsequently a visiting lecturer at area universities.
She's currently based at Duke University at the Center for Documentary Studies, where she is tickled to be introducing undergraduates to the magic of traditional black and white film photography as well as the rigor of advanced projects. Her artwork is included in the collections of The Akron Art Museum, The Asheville Museum of Art, The North Carolina Museum of Art, The Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, The Ackland Museum at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, The Henry-Copeland Art Collection at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and The Cassilhaus Collection.