Buen día!

Steffanie Padilla is a conceptual artist and currently a first-year MFA Photography graduate at Rhode Island School of Design. Her research interests focus on exploring the human-animal relationship, media-theory, and Mexican-American visual culture.


  • 2021 (candidate) Master of Fine Arts, Photography
    Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI

  • 2016 Bachelor of Fine Arts, Photography
    California State University, Long Beach

b. 1989, Riverside, California

Selected Features, Interview, and Honors

2019 Cream.mx issue #36, Cruces by Ashley Frangie (print)
2019 Fraction Magazine: Cruces, by Bree Lamb (online feature)
2019 Don’t Smile, Cullare: by Melissa Kreider (book print)
2018 FotoRoom: gnomic book open awards (shortlist)
2018 Photographer’s Forum book: Caballero, by Nell Campbell (finalist)
2018 Aint–Bad: Libertad, by William Glaser (online feature)
2018 C 41 Magazine: Cruces, by Alice De Santis (online feature)
2018 Least Untrue: by Elan Alexander (interview)
2018 Capricious: Cruces, by Ken Casteneda (online feature)
2018 Photo/Foto: Cruces, by Martin (online feature)

full cv upon request

Selected Group Exhibitions
2019 Photo Graduate Biennial, Sol Koffler Gallery, Providence, RI (Oct 24th- opening)
2019 One., Red Eye Gallery, RISD, Providence, RI (Sept 19th- opening)
2019 Inaugural , SAMple Gallery, Chapel Hill, NC
2018  Contemporary PhotographyCICA Museum, Gimpo, South Korea
2018  Random Acts of Content, Culver Center of the Arts, Riverside, CA
2018  Taking Pictures, Black Box Gallery, Portland, OR
2017  Winter Works, Bromfield Gallery, Boston, MA
2016  Misplacement, Max L. Gatov Gallery, Long Beach, CA
2016 One: Mind, Body, Spirit, Self-Help Graphics & Art, Los Angeles, CA

Professional History
Visiting Artist Relationship Manager, RISD, Providence, RI (current)
2019 Teacher Assistant: Brian Ulrich, RISD, Providence, RI (current)
2019 Off The Block, Media Educator, Documentary Workshop, UCRiverside
2018  Photographic Resource Center, Inventory, Lesley University, Cambridge, MA
2016  Dig Magazine, Photo Editor/Photographer, California State University, Long Beach

Texts I'm thinking about / (re)reading lately:
* Steve Baker, Picturing the Beast, Animals, Identity, and Representation
* Douglas Rushkoff, Coercion: Why We Listen to What “They” Say
* Matthew Brower, Developing Animals: Wildlife and Early American Photography
* Arjen Mulder, Understanding Media Theory
* Carol J. Adams, Object Lessons: Burger
* Melanie Joy, Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows
* John Berger, Ways of Seeing
* Leonard Mlodinow, Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior
* Adam Alter, Drunk Tank Pink
* Errol Morris, Believing is Seeing (Observations on the Mysteries of Photography)
* David Nibert, Animal Rights/Human Rights: Entanglements of Oppression and Liberation
* Kate Stewart & Matthew Cole, The Conceptual Separation of Food & Animals in Childhood
* Loughnan, Haslam, Bastian, The Psychology of Eating Animals
* Megan Conrad, LoBue, Learning About Real Animals From Anthropomorphic Media

We come to life surrounded by animals. They’re among the first things we reach for as they hover over our cots in the shape of colourful toys; as stuffed teddies they spend the night with us, making us feel safe and warm; thereafter, as we grow older, they are ever-present through illustrated books, photographs, wildlife documentaries, films, as pets and pest, at the zoo, in the city, in the countryside, as entertainers or sports partners. Partly, it may be because animals are such an integral part of our daily lives, from the very beginning, that we somehow end up taking them for granted, and that we come to see them as accessories to the human condition.
— Art and Animals, Giovanni Aloi