Creative Vision

"I love extending an invitation into my world and passions through my photography, poetry, and prose. Across my broad range of skills, I most appreciate surfacing the unseen.

What is someone's story under the surface of their face and presentation? What is forgotten to human memory that should be reclaimed? Or, most simply, how can I share the sense or soul of a place with someone who may not ever travel there?

I have an endless hunger to ask questions, create conversation through visual or written commentary, and journey into the unknown through my various creative endeavors or collaborations. Even if what I unearth through some of these adventures scare me."

Shanta Lee Gander

Photo credit: Chinue Clifford
Top photo: Shanta Lee Gander

Shanta Lee Gander as Lucy Terry Prince

Shanta Lee is a Vermont Humanities Council speaker  Click here to book her Lucy Terry Prince talk, Bearing Witness and the Endurance of Voice 

"I connected to the story of Lucy Terry Prince when a friend who was involved with the Brattleboro Literary Festival and the Peoples, Places, and the History of Words project (a grant through the National Endowment for the Humanities) approached me. I am ashamed to admit I did not know Lucy Terry Prince, or her work, before 2016. Researching Lucy and reading Gretchen Holbrook Gerzina's Mr. and Mrs. Prince: How an Extraordinary Eighteenth-Century Family Moved Out of Slavery and Into Legend has re-engaged me with how imperative it is that we bear witness. In understanding what we know of Lucy Terry Prince's life, what is our responsibility to bear witness? What lessons can we borrow from Lucy Terry Prince and figures like her to respond to our current social and political landscape? In what ways does Lucy Terry Prince and her husband, Abijah Prince connect Black Americans to their rural roots and/or legacies as landowners in America?"

Lucy Terry was a landowner and fought for her rights before the highest court in Vermont in the 18th century. Her only surviving written work, Bars Fight, survived for a 100 years in oral history before appearing in print. The ballad depicts a 1746 massacre that took place in Deerfield, MA.

Watch Shanta Lee Gander perform "Bars Fight"

Read Shanta Lee Gander's piece, "What We Must Learn from Lucy Terry Prince" on Ms. Magazine Blog

Photo credit: MacLean (Mac) Charles Gander

The opening of Perfect Imperfection at the Vermont Center for Photography.

Shanta Lee Gander is pictured with Joshua Farr (Director of the Vermont Center for Photography) and Liz LaVorgna, fellow photographer. Liz and Shanta Lee collaborated to create Perfect Imperfection. Click here to read more and see some of the pieces.

Masquerade Ball-2016

"I don't see a line of difference between creativity and professional work. In other words, I see the creative as always extending to other parts of life. It's how you decide to present yourself from hairstyle to clothing, how you run a meeting, how you engage people, an/or bring people together.

This poster is an example of one of many events I've planned most of my life. We put a twist on the masquerade and curated it as a "Day of the Dead" event."

Poster and original artwork created by Adrian Eames.

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