Eler Waters


Eler Waters is an interdisciplinary artist and advocate who works across oil painting, photography, sculpture and new medias. She is self-taught. Having grown up in poverty, at times living in squats in the rural American South, Waters found traditional arts education inaccessible. Waters pursued independent study of the arts, landscapes and languages in New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago as well as throughout Western Europe (Florence, Rome, Zürich, Lucerne, Gruyères, Bilbao and Madrid). Consistently oriented to process and bearing a compulsive anxiety around public life Waters declined early invitations to show and publish, often destroying early pieces. In 2017, a rare autoimmunity took her ability to stand at length. Waters’ arts-advocacy work can be found in journalistic outlets such as USA Today, Teen Vogue and Them under the moniker Eler de Grey. In their community work they contribute to the accessibility and inclusion platforms of XOXO, an arts and technology festival based in Portland, Oregon. They won the Guild Complex Award for Prose in 2017 and were nominated for the Wynn Newhouse Award in 2020. Waters was accepted for mentorship with Magnum Photos in 2021.

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