Born and raised in Lebanon Rania Matar moved to the U.S. in 1984. Originally trained as an architect at Cornell University, she studied photography at New England School of Photography, and Maine Photographic Workshops in Mexico with Magnum photographer Constantine Manos. She currently works full-time as a photographer, and teaches photography to teenage girls in refugee camps in Lebanon, with the assistance of non-governmental organizations, and is in the process of working with teenagers with brain injuries in Boston and with Somali teenage refugees with the assistance of Children’s Hospital.
Matar’s work has been published and exhibited widely in the U.S. and internationally, most recently at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, ICA/Boston, the Mosaic Rooms London, Gallery Kayafas Boston, Galerie Janine Rubeiz Beirut, the Southeast Museum of Photography, the University of Maine Museum of Art, the Griffin Museum of Photography, the Spagnuolo Gallery at Georgetown University, the University of the Arts, Philadelphia in “Best of Show” exhibit, and at the Danforth Museum of Art in the New England Photographers’ Biennial.
Matar has won many awards including an artist grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, first prize in New England Photographers Biennial, first prize in Women in Photography International, second prize at Px3 Aftermath, Prix de la Photographie/Paris and honorable mentions at CENTER 2010 Project Competition Award and Curator’s Choice Award, Silver Eye Center for Photography Fellowship Award, Photo Review, Lens Culture International and MyArtSpace. In 2008 she was selected one of Top 100 Distinguished Women Photographers by Women in Photography, and was a ﬁnalist for the prestigious Foster award at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston with an accompanying solo exhibit in 2009.
Her images are in the permanent collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Worcester Museum of Art; the Portland Art Museum, Oregon; the De Cordova Museum and Sculpture Park; the Danforth Museum of Art; the Kresge Art Museum; the Southeast Museum of Photography; and is part of numerous private collections.
Her first book titled “Ordinary Lives” has just been released, published by the Quantuck Lane Press and distributed by WW Norton.