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Patti Ambrogi

Patti Ambrogi

(b. 1950)
Born: Albany, New York, American

Patti Ambrogi is a photographer and Professor Emerita in the School of Photographic Arts and Sciences at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). She holds an MFA from the Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester, New York, and a BFA from SUNY Albany. She studied at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Firenze, the Università degli Studi di Siena, the Summer Shakespeare Institute in Stratford-upon-Avon, and in the American Studies PhD program at the University of Buffalo.

Ambrogi's work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, including exhibits at Tokyo Polytechnic Institute in Japan, the São Paulo Biennial in Brazil, the Center for Book Arts and Art in General in New York City, the Boston CyberArts Festival, the Photographic Resource Center in Boston, Menschel Gallery at Syracuse University, and the Visual Studies Workshop, the Memorial Art Gallery and the George Eastman Museum in Rochester, New York.

Ambrogi has lectured about moving media and the still photographer. She is the founder of the Media Café at RIT, and a curriculum that promotes the production of temporal work crossing disciplines and media. She is the recipient of RIT’s Eisenhart Award for Outstanding Contribution in Teaching and The Honored Educator Award at the 2012 Regional Society for Photographic Education.

Ambrogi’s work looks to examine the cultural impact that significant historical events and the visual documentation of these events have on our understanding of the world around us. By reimagining these images, the viewer can critically analyze their perception of the larger society. She explains in her artist statement:

“I believe that all images describe the world they record and along the way, they shape the knowledge and the cultural rules through which we understand our experience of living. My projects examine our received histories and the values embedded beneath what we have come to believe is natural. I work to unravel our histories and encode my images with signs that the world is not just out there, but out there for us to examine and contest and reconstruct.”[1]

Her latest project, The Women in History, exemplifies this concept:

“The Women in History project revisits the historic images of women in the news media who influence our notions of living. The canvases are created by remaking the likeness of public figures in the media with a code of icons and images. For example, the pixels in the media image that forms the likeness of Princess Diana are restructured with icons of landmines from the major conflicts of the 20th century. The image is rematerialized with crushed glass and road tar, signifying both diamond and rushing toward collision. I think about The Women in History as a liberatory project, a project about unmooring and looking seriously at our world with a visual playfulness.”[2]

For more information on Ambrogi’s work, visit

[1] “Patti Ambrogi Artist Statement,” Burchfield Penney Artist File.

[2] “Patti Ambrogi Artist Statement,” Burchfield Penney Artist File.