Ken Marchionno

Ken MarchionnoArtist’s Statement

I am a documentary photographer currently working on a long term project with members of the Lakota Tribes in South Dakota. My work incorporates public practice and social media in an effort to offer tribal members a voice in their own representation, and is based on the needs and desires of the people involved.

Since 2004, I have worked with the Lakota tribes of South Dakota to cover the Oomaka Tokatakiya, Future Generations Ride, a 300-mile memorial horseback ride to the site of the Wounded Knee Massacre. The project celebrates the Lakota’s embrace of heritage in a contemporary context, documenting their efforts to combat the effects of transgenerational trauma and genocidal policies, by embodying tradition and building community.

In contrast with popular culture representations of Native Americans—the romanticization of the past and the relentless focus on struggles with addiction and poverty—this work focuses on the Lakota’s effort toward self-empowerment.

In 2006, I started a workshop for youth to provide an introduction to photography and an opportunity to add their voice to their own representation. I supply both motion and still equipment, capturing the ride and web posting daily video and still images, from the field as the ride progresses.



Select Solo Exhibitions from 2011-2016

300 Miles, The Oomaka Tokatakiya, WORKSPACE Gallery, Lincoln Nebraska

The Oomaka Tokatakiya, The Future Generations Teen Photojournalism Project
Galerie Ladislav Sutner, Pilzen, Czech Republic

300 Miles, The Oomaka Tokatakiya, Syo Gallery, Daegu, South Korea

The Oomaka Tokatakiya, The Future Generations Teen Photojournalism Project
American Center at the US Embassy, Prague, Czech Republic

Select Group Exhibitions from 2011-2016

Memorial Ride: Contemporary Native American Shorts, Echo Park Film Center, Micro Cinema
Los Angeles, California

Long Live LA, Freewaves Screening, Los Angeles, California

Narrative Space: Fresh Perspectives, Venice Arts Center for Media and Learning
Venice, California

A Song for the Horse Nation, Smithsonian Institute National Museum of the American Indian
Smithsonian Institute Washington, DC

Select Fellowships and Awards

California Community Foundation Fellowship for Visual Artists, Los Angeles, California

Sidney Stern Memorial Trust, Pacific Palisades, California

Future Focus Project Support Grant, Society for Photographic Education, Cleveland, Ohio

Artist in Residence Fellowship, ArtMill Center for Sustainable Creativity, Horaždovice, Czech Republic 


“Future Generations Teen Photojournalism Project,”
Cowboys and Indians, January

Corina Roberts, “The Future Generations Ride,” Cowboys and Indians, January

Dont Rhine, “AIDS activism and the art of Clean Needles Now,”
X-TRA Contemporary Art Quarterly, Volume 15, no. 3, Spring

“Ken Marchionno at Syo Gallery”, Yeongnam Ilbo,
 Daegu, South Korea, April 15

Curation and Project Direction

2006 – present
Future Generations Teen Photojournalism Project, Director/Curator, South Dakota

Net Photo Festival, Regional Curator, Deagu Photo Biennale, Daegu South Korea

Broadcast 2016, Co-Curator, Keystone Gallery, Los Angeles, California

2013 – 2016
TRACTIONARTS, Curator/Director, Los Angeles, California 


MFA 1996
University of California at Irvine, Irvine, California, MFA: Studio Art

American Photography Institute, New York University, New York

California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, California

BFA 1985
University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware, BFA: Photography, Minor: Art History