Ellen is a professor at the University of Washington School of Art, chair of the Photomedia Program. She received a B.S. at the University of Wisconsin and a MFA from the University of New Mexico. She has received a Fulbright–Hayes Scholarship, National Endowment for the Arts Individual Fellowship Grant, and an Artist Trust /Washington State Fellowship. Her work has been shown nationally and internationally and featured in Each Wild Idea by Geoffrey Batchen, Contact Sheet by Light Work, and the journals Creative Camera and Visual Studies.
Her work is a cross between photography, drawing and sculpture often blurring the boundaries between them. Also interested in documentary work, between 2003 and 2010 she made a series of photographs in prosthetic clinics in the U.S., Cambodia, Laos and Thailand. The images were then used as a catalyst to hear and record stories and thoughts from the patients, prosthetists and researchers. Her various projects can be found at: ellengarvens.com