Chelcie S Porter
Known primarily for her photography American multi-disciplinary artist Chelcie S Porter began photography at the age of six. She grew up in an unconventional family of fashion models, artists, performance artist and photographers. Surrounded by art she has almost always lived a nomadic lifestyle. She has lived in Thailand, Czech Republic, the Caribbean, Alaska and several states in the mainland United States and spent five years traveling the world living only out of a suitcase. Her photography is largely documentary in nature focusing on themes of feminism, gay/lesbian culture, the African diaspora and self-exploration.
At the age of 14 she began living in New York and working with photographer Udo Spritzenbarth as a fashion model. Spritezenbarth inspired her to take control of creating her own images of herself. Her first exhibition, a series of self-portraits, was held at the Wisconsin State Department of Art and exhibited powerful images of a young black woman rejecting Westernized ideals of beauty. She attended Kendall College of Art and Design but dropped out her senior year to open a contemporary art gallery in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan. It is at this time that she began curating, painting and jewelry design. Chelcie has gone on to work as a photographer, writer and vlogger for several publications including ChicagoNow, RedEye and Potent Magazine.
She has hosted and facilitated numerous successful political art events in Chicago including Savoir Faire: LGBTQ festival and the Anti-Violence Drum Circle. In 2010 she produced her first photography book Wabi Sabi, A Series of Fine Art Female Nudes. Her new book Travel Therapy is due to release in late 2016 and documents her five year trip around the world and discusses how she healed from her husband’s sudden death in 2009.
With her late husband Porter founded La Casa de la Artista, an immersion travel company and artist’s residency program which helps to provide free education to youth all over the world. Under this umbrella are such events as La Casa de Yoga, a series of yoga and meditation retreats that use yoga, dance movement therapy, immersion travel and art therapy as a means of healing.
In 2015 she began studying wellness and butoh dance in Thailand and expanding her services. She now a certified life coach, reiki master, reflexologist, meditation coach and Zumba instructor. The lifelong vegetarian and Afro-Cuban continues her cultural traditions by working in mediums like dance, henna, alter building and tarot. She is currently traveling Southeast Asia working with local tribes to produce a line of fashions for her brand Kindred.