Please join us in welcoming the incoming Class of 2021 cohort of Duke University MFA in Experimental and Documentary Arts.
Katelyn Auger was born in 1996 and raised in Brunswick County, North Carolina. She holds a Bachelor of Industrial Design (BID) from North Carolina State University. Inspired by her own struggles, she sought out a design education with the intent to develop her knowledge of thoughtful and accessible design. She now seeks to further her education and passions by exploring the intersection of design and documentary while pursuing documentary photography. Her interests include topics of identity, empathy, the American South, and engaging with social constructs through documentary work. She is heavily interested in using science fiction as an instrument to address topics of intersectional feminism, particularly in relation to Southern culture. Through her work she hopes to better understand the identity of the American South and contribute thoughtful and formative insight to the conditions of her home.
Born in 1995, Archer Boyette is an experimental artist with roots in Asheville, NC. As an undergraduate at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, she studied modern art history and global cinema while pursuing creative projects on the side. Following graduation, she interned with the Performing Arts and Film department at the North Carolina Museum of Art, and completed coursework at the Asheville School of Film and the Asheville Darkroom. Archer predominantly works in photographic media, employing a surreal mode to engage with themes of memory, meaning making, gender/sexuality, and ephemera. Archer uses she/they pronouns.
Mingyong Cheng is a documentary filmmaker, digital journalist and designer. Born in Beijing, Mingyong completed degreesin Broadcast Production and Digital Media Arts at the Communication University of China. She focuses on the integration of storytelling and new media technology, using creative media productsto reflect social issues andtopics. At CCTV, Mingyong produces new media, and asa filmmakershe has directedseveral documentaries focusing on individual subjects includingan opera enthusiast, disabled child, and bus spotter.
Moriah LeFebvre is a Durham-based artist, photographer, and teacher who works in a range of media to explore various themes including transience, identity, and interpersonal connection. Her artistic process often involves layering acrylic paint and a variety of materials to create texture and raised relief. A graduate from UNC School of the Arts and UNC-Chapel Hill, Moriah has spent the past five years focused on a body of work in which she examines the shifting landscape of her beloved hometown of Durham in a series of photography-based mixed media pieces. Inspired during the infancy of her twin boys, this series features local parents and their children within these transitioning landscapes.
Julie Platner was born and raised in California at the edge of the Pacific Ocean. A curious child seeking to understand the world around her, she began early on to use a camera. As a photojournalist, she has worked to capture the quiet, subtle pain residing in elaborate scenes of identity and gender performance. Concerned with themes of isolation, belonging, the human shadow and the nature of trauma, her work has granted her recognition by American Photography,Communication Arts, Photo District News and POYI. Julie has been a National Public Radio multimedia fellow, and her photographs have been published in magazines such as M, le magazine du Monde, D la Repubblica and GQ as well as on the front pages of the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. Her long-term project on violent white supremacists was the subject of a season opening60 minutes segment. She is a member of the International Cinematographers Guild,and has a series of images in collection at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.
Bree von Bradsky
Bree von Bradsky, born and raised in New Jersey, is a documentary filmmaker. For undergrad, she attended Hobart and William Smith Colleges where she majored in both Anthropology and Media & Society. Upon graduating and after working for the National Women’s Hall of Fame, Bree bought a one-way ticket to Mongolia in the Fall of 2016. Since then Bree has lived in Vietnam and New Zealand. Her work centers around being an observer of the world, focusing on her interests which include adventure, different cultures, empowering women, the LGBTQ+ community and environmental rights. Her largest project to date is a featurelength documentary, titled The Gobi Gallop,which depicts an annual 700-kilometer charity horse-back trek around Mongolia. Her film has since debuted at theEQUUS Film Festival where it won Best Inspirational Documentary and the EQUUS International Film Festival where it won Best Film for a Cause.
Born in China in 1998, Yu Wang came to San Diego, California at the age of 13. She earned bachelor’s degrees in International Business and Architecture from University of San Diego in 2019. She expresses architecture and space through photography and film. In her recent film project, she traveled to China, North Korea, and Russia to explore the conflicts and interactions between these three countries, especially at the border area. After studying environmental issues in Bali, Indonesia, she cofounded an science institution focusing on environmental issue and pollution caused by construction in China.
Born and raised in Guangzhou, a metropolitan city in Southern China, Chuyu (Jade) Xiong has lived in New York for the past four years earning her undergraduate degree in New York University. As a Media, Culture, and Communication major, she developed a strong interest in media theory and various art forms by absorbing the cultural scene of NYC from both inside and outside of the classroom. She is a frequent museum goer and enjoys learning about urban planning as well as different cultures. In the meanwhile, she reads, writes, takes photos, plays music, occasionally writes scripts and makes films. Her transcultural experience inspires her to go back to her root and create communication that is mutually intelligible to the East and the West. As a firm believer in the documentary arts’ power to empower, Chuyu aspires to make works uncovering under-appreciated history, culture, and food of the marginalized population.
Yang Xu was born in China and graduated with a BFA in Design from Rutgers University. She is interested in photography, printing and media, and has designed posters, visual identities, infographics, websites, interactive games and immersive installation.