Tara Wray is a photographer, filmmaker, and founder of the Too Tired Project, a non-profit arts organization committed to using photography as a tool to help those struggling with depression and related mental health issues by offering a platform for collective creative expression. Her personal work is autobiographical in nature and focuses on issues of mental health and the ambivalence of family ties. And dogs. She makes art to understand the world around her and to define her place within it. 

Her most recent photobook—Year of the Beast—was published in 2021 by Too Tired Press. In 2018 Yoffy Press released her first photobook—Too Tired for Sunshine—which has since sold out, and in 2020 Belt Publishing published her collaboration with Danny Caine—El Dorado Freddy’s—a book of fast food reviews in poems and photos. She is the author of several handmade artist books, including Come Again When You Can’t Stay So Long and Each One Wonderful, a book of New York City dogs.

Wray has exhibited her work in solo and group exhibitions throughout the United States and abroad, including the Kunst Haus Wien, Museum Hunterwasser in Vienna, Austria; TULCA Festival of Visual Arts in Galway, Ireland; the Christel DeHaan Fine Art Center at the University of Indianapolis; the Brush Art Gallery at St. Lawrence University, Canton, NY; the Foley Gallery, NYC; the Museum of Human Achievement, Austin, TX; OSNY PROJECT SPACE, NYC; Pablo's Birthday, NYC; Duncan Miller Gallery, Santa Monica, CA; Vermont Center for Photography, Brattleboro, VT; Griffin Museum of Photography, Winchester, MA; The Front Gallery, New Orleans, LA (in conjunction with PhotoNOLA); NY Art Book Fair, Queens, NY; 500X Gallery, Dallas, TX; Antenna Works Gallery, New Orleans, LA; Aviary Gallery, Jamaica Plain, MA; Aperture Gallery, with Oranbeg Press, NYC.

Her photography has been featured on NPR, Washington Post, VICE, Huff Post, BUST Magazine, GUP Magazine, Vogue Polska, PHOTONEWS, Monopol-Magazin, Deutschlandfunk Kultur, and more, and is held in the permanent collections of the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, the George Eastman Museum Library, the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Yale, the Snite Museum of Art at the University of Notre Dame, and the Dartmouth College Book Arts Workshop. 

Wray has directed two feature length documentary films: Manhattan, Kansas (SXSW 2006 and Film Society of Lincoln Center) and Cartoon College (Newport Beach Film Festival 2012) which have collectively screened at dozens of festivals worldwide. Her films received funding from the LEF New England Foundation; New York State Council for the Arts; the Jerome Foundation; the Anthony Radziwill Documentary Fund; the Vermont Arts Council (made possible by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Vermont Community Foundation); and a grant from Chicken & Egg Pictures.

Born in Manhattan, Kansas, Wray received her BA from the Gallatin School of Individualized Study at New York University in 2004.

She lives off-grid in rural Vermont with her husband, identical twin sons, and a dog named Hula.

Email: tara@tarawray.net

—Drawing by Jason Polan

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