Colleen Plumb's work centers upon examining the human ambivalence towards animals, and the contradictory ways they are woven through the fabric of American culture. Plumb's focus for the past fifteen years has been an inquiry into a society whose appetite for animals, whether in flesh or in reproduction, with admiration or obsession, is voracious. Radius Books published her first monograph, Animals Are Outside Today, in 2011.
Plumb's work is in the permanent collections at the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago, Milwaukee Art Museum, Southeast Museum of Photography in Daytona Beach, Girls' Club Collection in Fort Lauderdale, and the Fidelity Collection in Boston. Her photographs are part of the Midwest Photographers Project at the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago, the Chicago Project at Catherine Edelman Gallery, and were recently featured on Women in Photography (wipnyc.org).
Recent solo exhibits have been at the Union League Club of Chicago, Jen Bekman Gallery in New York, Dina Mitrani Gallery in Miami, Historic Water Tower Gallery in Chicago, and van Straaton Gallery in Denver. Select group exhibitions have been at Gallery 339 in Philadelphia, Photographic Center Northwest in Seattle, Pinyao International Photography Festival in China, Griffin Museum of Photography in Massachusetts, Zolla/Lieberman Gallery in Chicago, and the U.S. Botanic Garden in Washington D.C.
Plumb's work has been featured in Ireland's Blow Photo Magazine, Photo District News, Time's LightBox, the BBC in Brazil, and The New York Times LENS Blog. Plumb earned a BFA in Visual Communication in 1992 from Northern Illinois University and holds an MFA in Photography from Columbia College Chicago (1999), where she is currently an adjunct faculty member.