Mary Zompetti

Mary Zompetti

Zompetti’s creative process is driven by curious experimentation in the mediums of photography and light-based installation – not in the quest for the perfect, captured moment, but rather for the possibilities that exist when control is relinquished and chance helps guide both the process and questions being asked by the work. This curiosity excites and drives her to push the medium further, seeing what is possible outside the parameters of traditional photographic processes. She is currently investigating concepts relating to home and place, the impermanence of the physical body, and the impact of human-driven change in the natural environment.

Prior to teaching at Hollins, Zompetti had a 15-year career in non-profit arts administration, working as a community builder, educator and mentor to learners of all ages and abilities. She is passionate about teaching, encouraging her students to find unconventional ways to conceptualize their ideas and experiences through photographic media.



Areas of Expertise

  • Traditional and experimental black and white film-based photographic processes, including darkroom printing, historic alternative processes and cameraless methods.
  • Color film photography, including film scanning and large-format archival color printing.

Courses Taught

  • Introduction to Film Photography
  • Cameraless Photography
  • Alternative Photographic Methods
  • Photography Projects


  • M.F.A., Visual Arts, Lesley University College of Art and Design
  • B.F.A., Visual Arts, Northern Vermont University

Publications & Articles

  • Zompetti has exhibited her work in numerous locations nationally and internationally, including at the Photographic Resource Center in Boston, MA, the Griffin Museum of Photography in Winchester, MA and the A.I.R. Gallery in Brooklyn, NY. She also creates site-responsive installation projects in abandoned spaces, utilizing light, photographic materials and found objects.


  • 2020 Creation Grant, funded by the Vermont Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts
  • 2017 Arts Endowment Grant, funded by the Vermont Community Foundation
  • 2014 + 2015 Artist Development Grants, funded by the Vermont Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts

Research Interests

  • Zompetti is currently working with cameraless photographic methods, exploring existential concerns of life, health, illness, and death as expressed through the delicate and resilient nature of film emulsion exposed to environmental conditions.