Peggy Fontenot has been exhibiting her Fine Art Photography nationally since 1991. She has received numerous awards which include the Heard Museum (Phoenix, AZ), the Eiteljorg Museum (Indianapolis, IN), and Millard Sheets Gallery (Pomona, CA). In 2006 she was awarded an L.A. Treasures grant.
Influenced by her American Indian heritage, Fontenot is currently photographing contemporary Native Americans to show that despite attempts of Assimilation by the American government, Indigenous people continue to thrive. This presentation is combined with Tipis of the Plains Tribes, an exhibit of Sepia and Selenium toned Gelatin Silver images depicting American Indian home life, both past and present.
Fontenot recently participated in a national exhibit, Frybread and Roses, which examined the Native American Labor Movement. Columbucide, hosted at The Institute of American Indian Art Museum’s Lloyd Kiva Galley, exploring the affects that Columbus’ had on the New World through the Native American’s eyes, is another exhibit that Fontenot recently contributed to.
Fontenot was granted the exclusive permission to photograph the inside of Thunder Mountain, a Nevada Historical Monument built out of “White Man’s Trash” by a Creek Native American WWII Veteran, Chief Rolling Mountain Thunder. SATWIWA Native American Cultural Center will host these images in April 2007.
Fontenot’s activism in social issues led her to produce Secrets Behind The Wall: An American Indian Vietnam Veteran’s Private Battlefield At Home. The exhibit consists of over one hundred black and white images, with the show expanding as the story unfolds.
Partnering with the Library of Congress’ Veteran History Project; Fontenot who is the co-founder of America’s Veterans, is currently photographing and interviewing veterans from across the United States for an upcoming multi-media traveling exhibit, The Living Wall©, which will honor all living veterans while bringing awareness to who our veterans are and in what conditions they exist today. Faces of Pride: America’s Veterans, is an introductory exhibit to The Living Wall©, which is currently traveling.
Debriefing is an exhibit which explores veterans and their personal experiences of reentry into civilian life. The exhibit will be hosted by the National Vietnam Art Museum in Chicago in May 2008 and will close on Veteran’s Day, November 11, 2008.
Spontaneous Memorials, which spotlights gravesites along America’s highways, is another project that Fontenot is working on.
In addition to her fine art and editorial photography, Fontenot has a strong background in product and commercial photography. Her clients include The National Conference for Community and Justice (NCCJ) (Los Angeles, CA); Bosnia Relief Fund (Los Angeles, CA); Sweet Medicine Enterprises (Santa Fe, NM); Slick Racing (Hawaii); Just Like Home Café (Marina del Rey, CA); and Dick Clark Racing (Gardnerville, NV), for which she shot two world land-speed records.
Fontenot has been a guest speaker for several photography classes. She was the curator of a photography show featuring the images of ten Malibu High School students with whom she personally worked with and taught. The show, Young Artists in Progress, was exhibited at the Legal Grind Café in Santa Monica, CA.
She also teaches regularly at The San Joaquin River Intertribal Heritage Educational Corporation (Auberry, CA) and Satwiwa Native American Cultural Center (Thousand Oaks, CA).