Joan Myers was born in 1944 in Des Moines, Iowa, and had an early interest in the sciences and mathematics. At Stanford University, her concentration on Renaissance and baroque music performance led to a B.A in 1966 and a M.A. in musicology in 1967.
In the early 1970’s Ms. Myers turned to photography. Today she utilizes various digital methods, as well as the platinum-palladium process and continues her exploration of hand-applied color. She maintains her residence and studio near Santa Fe, New Mexico, and teaches workshops throughout the country.
In 2002, the National Science Foundation awarded Joan Myers an Antarctic Artists and Writer’s Grant to photograph at McMurdo Station, surrounding field stations, historic huts, and the South Pole during the 2002-2003 austral summer. A SITES show entitled “Wondrous Cold: an Antarctic Journey” is scheduled to begin touring in May 2006, accompanied by a book published by Smithsonian Books.
In 2001 Ms. Myers’ book Pie Town Woman was published by University of New Mexico Press and received an award for Best Illustrated Trade Book from the Publishers Association of the West. Joan Myers’ book, Salt Dreams: Land and Water in Low-Down California, a ten-year photographic study of the Salton Sea in southern California with text by William deBuys, was published by University of New Mexico Press in 1999 and won the Western States Book Award for non-fiction. Also in 1999, Ms. Myers completed a series “Western Power” for the National Millennium Survey directed by James Enyeart at the College of Santa Fe. Another series, “Women of a Certain Age”, includes nudes of women over the age of forty. In 1988-1989, she photographed the medieval pilgrimage route across northern Spain to Santiago de Compostela. A book entitled Santiago: Saint of Two Worlds was published by the University of New Mexico Press in 1991, and the exhibit was toured by the Albuquerque Museum. In 1983-1985, she photographed the Japanese Relocation Camps from the 1940s; a SITES exhibit tour began in 1996, accompanied by a book, Whispered Silences. In 1982, Joan Myers received a NEA/Museum of New Mexico Survey grant to photograph the Santa Fe Trail, a project that resulted in a SITES three-year exhibit tour and a book, Along the Santa Fe Trail.