Jo Whaley resides in Santa Fe NM, but has lifelong roots in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she earned advanced degrees in Art and Photography from the University of California at Berkeley. She originally studied to become a painter and later took a day job as a scenic artist for the San Francisco Opera and other Bay Area theatrical companies, which greatly influenced her approach to photography.
Widely exhibited, Jo Whaley’s work is held in the permanent collections of many museums, including the Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. From 2008 to 2013, her exhibit, The Theater of Insects toured museums, opening at the National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC and concluding at the Henry Fox Talbot Museum, Lacock Abbey, England. Chronicle Books published “The Theater of Insects” monograph. In 2018-19 she had an exhibition at the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, which intermixed her photographs with O’Keeffe’s paintings.
Whaley received one of the last National Endowment Visual Artists Fellowships in 1994 for her “Natura Morta” series and received five grants to work with the Polaroid 20x24 camera in New York. Jo keeps studios in both Santa Fe and Oakland, California and shares her life with the photographer, Greg Mac Gregor.