b. 1969, Falls Church, Virginia



MFA, Mills College, Oakland, CA


BA, Amherst College, Amherst, MA

Awards & Residencies


Vermont Studio Center Artist Residency, Joohnson, VT


Rauschenberg Residency #34, Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, Captiva, FL

Bench Projects, Zellerbach Family Foundation, Community Arts Grant


Bench Projects, City of Oakland Cultural Funding Program, Individual Artist Grant

Bench Projects / NIAD, California Arts Council, Artists Activating Communities

Bench Projects, The Clorox Company, Arts Mini-grant

Bench Projects, Keep Oakland Beautiful


Bench Projects, City of Oakland Cultural Funding Program, Individual Artist Grant

Bench Projects, Keep Oakland Beautiful


Bench Projects, Alternative Exposure Grant, Southern Exposure


Experimental Media Arts Lab Residency, Stanford University


Sarah Jacobson Film Grant, Free History Project


Finalist, Visions from the New California, Alliance of Artists

Communities Open Meadows Foundation, Project Grant


Juror’s Prize, “Betting on Shorts,” Palais de Tokyo

Best Documentary, DIGit Media Exposition

Finalist, “War Stories,” WGBH Lab

Best Short Film, Chlotrudis Society for Independent Film


Juror’s Award, ArTech – New Media Works


Mediamaker Award, Bay Area Video Coalition

Individual Artist Grant, City of Oakland Cultural Funding Program


Herringer Prize, Mills College


Murphy & Cadogan Award, The San Francisco Foundation

Mills College Graduate Research Grant

Nell Sinton Scholarship


Mills College Graduate Research Grant


Vermont Studio Center Residency Fellowship, Vermont Studio Center



Artists’ Annual, Kala Art Institute, Berkeley, CA


Fresh Work, Kala Art Institute, Berkeley, CA


From Generation to Generation: Inherited Memory in Contemporary Art, Contemporary Jewish Museum, San Francisco, CA


Wish You Were Here, Peephole Cinema, San Francisco, CA


Chrysalis Lens: A Brief Survey of Contemporary Video Art, Marylyn & Chuck Klaus Center for the Arts, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA


Resource, Ninth Street New Media Exhibition, Block Gallery, Oakland, CA

All the World Has its Sky, Addison Windows Gallery, Berkeley, CA (solo show)


Hydr0sphere, Multi-Media Exhibition at Interstitial Theatre, Seattle, WA

PixelPops, Regeneration, Isaac Delgado Fine Arts Gallery, New Orleans, LA

Actual Scale, Kala Gallery, Kala Art Institute, Berkeley, CA

Fission Fusion, Tulsa Living Arts Center, Tulsa, OK

Instant Vintage/Stop Motion, Interface Gallery, Oakland, CA (solo show)


Seeking Silicon Valley, Zero1 Biennial, San Jose, CA

Convergence/Divergence, WEAD, Los Medanos College, Pittsburg, CA

Seaworthy, e4c, Media Gallery, Seattle, WA (solo show)

The First Show, Multiplexer Gallery, Las Vegas, NV


Currents 2011, Sante Fe International New Media Festival, Santa Fe, NM

Retro Futurism, SpaceCamp MicroGallery, Indianapolis, IN

Fresh Work, Kala Art Institute & Gallery, Berkeley, CA


Provocative.Objects: the Extradition, Patricia Doran Gallery, Boston, MA

Baltimore v. the World, Current Gallery, Baltimore, MD

Alternate Reality, DIGit 2010 Media Exhibition, Delaware Art Center’s Loft Gallery, Narrowsburg, NY

Jamaica Arts Flux 10: Workspaces & Windows, Jamaica Center for Arts, Jamaica, NY


The Big Switch: New Media, Film & Video, Sumter County Gallery of Art, Sumter, SC

Bits and Pieces, Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago, IL

Domestic, AC [Institute Direct Chapel], New York, NY

Moab Video Project, Locust Projects, Miami, FL


Piece to Piece: Works from Kala Art Institute, Downtown, Berkeley, CA

Subversive Complicity, The Lab, San Francisco, CA

Centennial Video Special, Crawl Space Gallery, Seattle, WA

Reconciling America, San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery, San Francisco, CA


Love/War/Sex, Exit Art, New York, NY

Artbots: Philadelphia, The Esther M. Klein Art Gallery, Philadelphia, PA


By Any Means Un/necessary, Mission 17, San Francisco, CA


Artbots: The Third Annual Robot Talent Show, The Mink Building, New York, NY


The L-7 Project, Crocker Galleria, San Francisco, CA

Cream: The Right Stuff, Arts Benicia Gallery, Benicia, CA

Bay Area Student Sculpture Biennial, Pacific Rim Sculptors, San Francisco, CA

Masters of Fine Arts Exhibition, Mills College Art Museum, Oakland, CA


Murphy & Cadogan Exhibition, San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery, San Francisco, CA



Aurora Picture Show: Extremely Shorts Touring Program, The Mini Microcinema, Cincinnati, OH

Aurora Picture Show: Extremely Shorts Touring Program, Cellular Cinema, Minneapolis, MN


Orbits Film/Video Screening, Chopin Theatre, Chicago, IL

Experimental Films by Ellen Lake. DOCUMENTAL, Unurban Coffeehouse, Santa Monica, CA

Lone Glen 8, Basement Poetry and Video, Oakland, CA

Kalassal, Video Screening, Artist Project Space, Kala Art Institute, Berkeley, CA


Cologne OFF 2012, art & moving images in a global context, traveling screenings from Greece to Russia (complete list available upon request)

About Oakland, By Oakland, Great Wall of Oakland, Oakland, CA

Ghost IV, The Haunted Sea, St. John Bethnal Green, London, UK

Filmideo, Index Art Center, Newark, NJ

Dissilence, Workspace Limited, San Francisco, CA


Paradoxes in Video 2, Garage Gallery, San Diego, CA

Temescal Street Cinema, Opening Shorts curated by Royal Nonesuch Gallery, Oakland, CA

Another Experiment by Women Film Festival, Anthology Film Archive, New York, NY

About Oakland, By Oakland, Great Wall of Oakland, Oakland, CA

Unlike Screening, Unlike Gallery, Berlin, Germany

Lightworks, Grimsby Town, UK

Urban Research Program, Directors Lounge, Berlin, Germany

Time, 6 x 6 Media Arts, Ciné Lab, Athens, GA


Baywatch, San Francisco Film Society, Cinema by the Bay, Roxie Theater, San Francisco, CA

Rotterdam VHS Festival, Trade Gallery, Nottingham, UK

Ten Second Film Festival, The Soap Factory, Minneapolis, MN

Experimental Moving Images Festival, Axiom Gallery, Boston, MA

The Pretty Things, Heaven Gallery, Chicago, IL

South Loop Film Festival, Showplace ICON Theater, Chicago, IL

Ladies & Gentleman, the Fabulous Sarah Jacobson, Glasslands Gallery, NY, NY


The Disposable Film Festival, Anthology Film Archives, New York, NY

Dysfunctional Holiday Party, Squeaky Wheel, Buffalo, NY

Deconstructing, Director’s Lounge, Berlin, Germany

Pocket Film Festival, Forum des Images, Paris, France

Betting on Shorts, Film Café, Cinema Theatre Rio, Stockholm, Sweden

Collecting + Collections, Fresno Metropolitan Museum of Art & Science, Fresno, CA

Film night 3.0: Extra Lives, Swarm Gallery, Oakland, CA

Version 09 Festival, Rotterdam VHS Festival, Chicago, IL

Aurora Picture Show, Diverseworks, Houston, TX

The Disposable Film Festival, Roxie Cinema, San Francisco, CA


Technocracy, Carnegie Mellon University, Miller Gallery, Pittsburgh, PA

Mill Valley Film Festival, San Rafael, CA

Le: 60 Film Festival, Lumen Eclipse, Cambridge, MA

Milkbar Film Festival, Oakland, CA

Hi Mom! Film Festival, Chapel Hill, NC

Bernal Heights Outdoor Cinema, San Francisco, CA

Life of the Mind, Temescal Street Cinema, Oakland, CA

Extremely Shorts XI, Aurora Picture Show, Houston, TX

The Artist Project: Artopolis, LiveBox, Chicago, IL

SWAN Day Screening, the Artists’ Exchange, Cranston, RI

Women with Vision, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN

On the Move, Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, NY

Rotterdam VHS Festival, Het Wilde Weten, Rotterdam, the Netherlands


Antimatter Underground Film Festival, Victoria, B.C., Canada

DIGit Media Exposition: Tunsten Theater, Narrowsburg, NY

MadCat Women’s International Film Festival, San Francisco, CA

New York Experimental: The Tank, New York, NY

Extremely Shorts X, Aurora Picture Show, Houston, TX

Monkey Town Semiennial, Williamsburg, NY

Chlotrudis Film Festival, Coolidge Theatre, Brookline, MA


Scanners, New York Video Festival, Walter Reade Theater, New York, NY

24 Hour Film Festival, Downtown Community Television Center, New York, NY

Rotterdam VHS Festival, Robert Fruinstraat 35, Rotterdam, Netherlands

Astoria Moving Picture Festival, Hell Gate Social, Astoria, NY

Ms. Films Festival, PS1 Theater, Durham, NC


Apple Cider Screening, Heaven Gallery, Chicago, IL

Shorts: Collections Program, 21st Film Arts Festival, Roxie Cinema, San Francisco, CA

Lost Film Festival, Rotunda Theater, Philadelphia, PA

Cross Currents, Musée d’Art Moderne et Contemporain, Strasbourg, France

ASU Short Film & Video Festival, Arizona State University Art Museum, Tempe, AZ

UP CLOSE: And Personal, Two Boots Pioneer Theater, New York, NY

New Video Work on the Brink, Spark Contemporary Art Space, Syracuse, NY


MadCat Film Festival, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, CA

Tinkering! Film Series, The Exploratorium, San Francisco, CA

Reel Venus Film Festival, Symphony Space, New York, NY

Visions of Excess, Press Play Video Series, Attack Theater, Pittsburgh, PA

Cucalorus Film Festival, Wilmington, NC

Adelaide Fringe Festival, Adelaide, Australia

Rotterdam VHS Festival, Off_Corso, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Broadcasts/Special Projects


Bookends, Curated work for NIAD online exhibition, NIAD, Richmond, CA


Bench Projects, North Oakland Public Art Project pilot funding by Alternative Exposure and continued funding by City of Oakland Cultural Funding Program and other sources


Experimental Media Arts Lab Residency, Stanford University


Curator’s Corner, by Mary Magsamen, Aurora Picture Show, Houston, TX


Baltimore v. the World, DVD, Current Gallery, Baltimore, MD


Found Footage Film Collection, Video Art Database, Video Channel Cologne, Germany


Small A Projects Video Library, New York, NY


Ann’s Hoard: Reel 13 Shorts, WNET, New York, NY

Collector Documentarian, Spoiler Alert Radio Podcast, 88.1, WELH, Providence, RI


InTransit v. 2, Bi-annual Video Art Journal, Astrodime Transit Authority, Lowell, MA

EYE AM: Women Behind the Lens, MNN.org, Time Warner Channel 34, New York, NY


EYE AM: Women Behind the Lens, MNN.org, Time Warner Channel 34, New York, NY

Pandora Box, with Elliot Lessing and Heike Liss, The Lab, San Francisco, CA


The Collections Series, Axlegrease/Squeaky Wheel, Buffalo, NY


LaExtravaganza@DasMuseum, with Heike Liss, Mills College Art Museum, Oakland, CA

Teaching Experience/Visiting Artist/Panels


Panelist, California Alliance of Public Art Administrators (CAPAA)
Artists+Government Program, Palo Alto, CA


Guest Speaker, Studio Artist Talk Series, NIAD, Richmond, CA

Instructor, Grant Writing for Artists, Part 1 and 2, SF Camerwaork, San Francisco, CA


Moderator, “NYFA Immigrant Artist Mentoring Program – Fundraising Panel,” Oakland Asian Cultural Center, Oakland, CA


Visiting Artist, “Bench Projects,” NIAD, Richmond, CA


Guest Lecturer, “Grant Writing Strategies for Artists,” Society for Photographic Education Conference: SPE West, Humboldt State University, Arcata, CA


Visiting Artist Lecture, “Instant Vintage,” Experimental Media Arts Lab, Stanford, University, CA


Guest Filmmaker, Makers Film Night, Ribbon and Tie, San Francisco, CA


Filmmaker Q & A, Cinema by the Bay, Roxie Theater, San Francisco, CA


Artists’ Talk: Ellen Lake & Takehito Etani, Kala Gallery, Kala Art Institute, Berkeley, CA


Tinkadelic, Scratch Film Workshop, Gilman Playground, San Francisco, CA


Guest Lecturer, The Language of Painting, University of California, Berkeley, CA


Guest Lecturer, Visual Dynamics 3D: Memory, California College of the Arts, San Francisco, CA


Artist’s Talk: On Your Own, Griffins Foothill Middle School, Walnut Creek, CA


Artist’s Talk, Cream: The Right Stuff, Arts Benicia Center Gallery, Benicia, CA

Teaching Assistant, Arts 161-166: Advanced Painting, Mills College, Oakland, CA

Guest Lecturer, Arts 10286: Advanced Electronic Arts, Mills College, Oakland, CA

Video Instructor, East Bay Media Center, Summer Media Camp, Berkeley, CA


Teaching Assistant, Arts 009-109: Beginning Painting, Mills College, Oakland, CA

Guest Lecturer, Art History: Contemporary Women Artists, Mills College, Oakland, CA


Art Workshops, Berkeley Food & Housing Project, Berkeley, CA (1996-2000)


“Artist Interview,” Hissing Contemporary Art Magazine, March 2019.

“NIAD Art Center wins grant to beautify Richmond bus benches,” The Richmond Standard, May 10, 2016

“Artists Taking over Bus Benches in North Oakland,” by Alex Mak, Broke-Ass Stuart, March 17, 2016.

“This Weekend’s Top Five Events,” by Sarah Burke, East Bay Express, March 18, 2015

“Artist Proof: Ellen Lake of “Bench Projects,” a North Oakland Public Art Series, Oakland Art Enthusiast, Feb. 26, 2015

“Having A Baby in 1942: One Couple’s Utterly Charming Homemade Documentary,” by Rebecca Onion, Slate: The Vault, Historical Treasures, Oddities, And Delights, Dec. 3 2013

“Stanford visiting artist Ellen Lake creates a cultural paradox across decades,” by Robin Wander, Stanford Report, Stanford University News, March 9, 2012

“The Works: All you can consume and digest at Kala Gallery’s group show,” by DeWitt Cheng, East Bay Express, January 12, 2011

“Place Evaders,” by Martin L. Johnson, Baltimore City Paper, September 29, 2010

“In a Handheld World, Ellen Lake’s Miniatures Fit Right in,” by Michael Fox, SF 360, February 11, 2009

“Low-budget, Artful Movies Showcased in SF’s Disposable Film, by Laura Casey, Oakland Tribune, Jan. 28, 2009

“French Fries to Fire Hydrants,” by Ellen Lake, ARP, v2.1, Art Review & Preview, Summer 2008

“Critic’s Pick: All is Fair, The Artropolis Highlights,” New City Chicago, April 22, 2008

“The State of Video Art,” by Jen Graves, The Seattle Stranger, March 5, 2008

“Reconciling America: Miraculous Encounters with the Mundane,” by Valerie Imus, Shotgun Review, March 2, 2008

“Coming of Age at Crawl Space,” by Jim Demetre, Artdish, February 25, 2008

“War and Sex,” by Michèle C. Cone, artnet.com, December 28, 2007

“Picks of the Week,” by Sarah Giovanniello, Brooklyn Museum, December 7, 2007

“Artbots: Robot Talent Show Invades the Esther Klein Art Gallery,” by A.D. Amorosi, Art Matters, June ed., 2007

“Where Does Heart of Gold Sleep,” by Victoria Dalkey, Sacramento Bee, August 20, 2006

“Pack Rats,” by Rachel Swan, East Bay Express, July 6, 2006

“Short Cuts: Film Arts Festival Highlights,” by Johnny Huston, San Francisco Bay Guardian, November 4, 2005

“Showoff: Collectors bare unknown troves,” by Joyce Slaton, sfweekly.com, October 13, 2004

“Nothing Robotic About Robo-Art,” by Cyrus Farivar, wired.com, September 20, 2004

“Artbots 2004,” www.neural.it.com, hactivism, e-music, new media art, September 16, 2004

“Obsessive Absence,” by Nimala Nataraj, SFStation.com, January 12, 2004

“Coming To You in Glorious Pixelvision,” by Lynn Smith, Times Staff Writer, November 9, 2002, latimes.com

“Best New Artists Come to Benicia,” by Lily W. Heyen, August 11, 2002, BeniciaNews.Com

“The Living Museum,” by Ariel Thomas, Mills Now, Spring 2002, Mills College

All content © Copyright 2024 by Ellen Lake.