Cody Edison is an artist based in Los Angeles, California.  He works with video and photography to explore American issues: home, rural culture, racial & gender equality and Earth’s climate crisis. He documents stories of identity and under-recognized histories of injustice to provoke conversation about the United States past and its future.

Edison also films live performances of regional roots musicians who are renewing and preserving folk traditions. The discovery of Harry Smith's Anthology of American Folk Music became both a cultural gold mine and a practical one. Edison co-produced Re-Envisioning America (2010-2012), a multi-media homage to the Anthology with colleagues at CalArts. These productions were widely hailed as among the most significant tributes to American music that the CalArts community had ever seen or heard.

The Songbird of Manzanar (2016) premiered at L.A. Louver in Venice, California where Mary Kageyama Nomura was present to speak about her life and to perform two of her favorite jazz standards live. Recently Edison’s new film And Those Who Dance it Surrender Their Hearts to Each Other (2018) received the Best Documentary Feature Award from the Cinema on the Bayou Film Festival in Louisiana.    



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Curriculum vitae

Solo Exhibitions

2018: Cruzando Borders with Los Texmaniacs - Deep End Ranch, Santa Paula, CA

2017-2018: Vaquero & Charro: An Enduring Legacy / Un Legado Duradero - Tucson Desert Art Museum, Tucson, AZ

2017: Caballeros: Southern California - Ventura County Agriculture Museum, Santa Paula, CA

2016: Before The Southern Mountain: CA126 - Deep End Ranch, Santa Paula, CA

2012: Origins Anthology - CalArts, Valencia, CA

2010: Photographs of American & Mexican Songs: "Gonna Die With My Hammer In My Hand / Spike Driver Blues" & "El Mosco Americano" -  CalArts, Valencia, CA

Film Screenings

“And Those Who Dance it Surrender Their Hearts to Each Other”

Film Premiere: The Acadiana Center for the Arts, Lafayette, LA, January, 2019.

Additional Screenings: CCA The Screen, Santa Fe, New Mexico; The National Hispanic Cultural Center, Albuquerque, New Mexico; Now Instant Image Hall, Los Angeles, California; Passage Olympia, Québec City, Canada.

“The Songbird of Manzanar

Film Premiere: LA Louver, Venice, CA, August, 2017.

Additional Screenings: The International Center of Photography, NYC, New York; Deep End Ranch, Santa Paula, California; The National Steinbeck Center, Salinas, California.

Select Group Exhibitions

2017: The Changing Face of Ventura County - Museum of Ventura County (permanent display), Ventura, CA

2016: The Locals: A Portrait of America - The Santa Paula Art Museum, Santa Paula, CA

2014: Weston Four Generation Show / Developing the Future (exhibited as a Weston scholarship alumni) - The National Steinbeck Center. Salinas, CA

2012: Artists as Travellers – Galerie Der Hochschule, Braunschweig University of Art, Germany

2012: An Unexpected Aesthetic : The Search for New Directions – Center for Photographic Art, Carmel, CA

2011: The White Woman with the Brown Skin with a White Name with a Gun on a Horse - Human Resources, Los Angeles, CA

2010-2012: Re-Envisioning America: A Multi-Media Tribute to Harry Smith’s Anthology of American Folk Music, CalArts, Valencia, CA

2008: The Weston Photography Scholarship - Marjorie Evans Gallery, Carmel, CA

Awards, Grants & Residencies

2019: Lillian Disney Scholarship - CalArts

2019: Recipient of the Best Documentary Feature Award, Cinema on the Bayou Film Festival, Lafayette, LA

2013 – 2015: Deep End Ranch Residency, Santa Paula, CA

2012: Recipient of the DAAD German Academic Research Grant 

2012: Recipient of the Bartman Grant - CalArts 

2011: Recipient of the Interdisciplinary Grant - CalArts 

2008-2012: Merit Scholarship Award - CalArts

2008: Recipient of the 1st place Julian P. Graham Weston Scholarship Award


2022: MFA Candidate (Film/Video), CalArts

2012: BFA (Photography & Media), CalArts

Teaching Experience

2019: Teaching Assistant for Mina Kim Fitzpatrick, Documentary Production, CalArts, Valencia, CA

2019: Teaching Assistant for Shaleece Haas, Finding Money, CalArts, Valencia, CA

2013: Teacher and Youth Counselor, US Performing Arts Summer Film Camp, Pepperdine University, Malibu, CA

2012: Teaching Assistant for Suné Woods, Community Arts Program, Ramón C. Cortines School of Visual and Performing Arts, Los Angeles, CA

2011: Teaching Assistant for Alejandro Sanchez, Community Arts Program, CalArts, Valencia, CA

2010: Teaching Assistant for Darcy Hueblar, Art Pilots Class, CalArts, Valencia, CA 

Artist Lectures

2017: Tucson Desert Art Museum, Tucson, AZ - visiting artist lecture

2014: Moorpark College, CA - visiting artist lecture 

2012: The International Center of Photography (ICP), NYC, NY - film screening and artist lecture

2012: Center for Photographic Art (CPA), Carmel, CA - group panel for An Unexpected Aesthetic : The Search for New Directions


Photography and Media – Copyright © 2019 Cody Lee Edison – all rights reserved.