Cody Edison is a photographer and a filmmaker based in Los Angeles. He was born in Chicago in 1989 and raised in Ketchum, Idaho before moving to California in 2006. He received his BFA. for studies in photography and media from CalArts in 2012.

     Edison's interest in rural culture, community, music and racial and gender equality has led him to explore stories of identity, under-recognized histories of injustice, as well as work about traditional musicians navigating the challenges of cultural disruption. This work has developed long-lasting relationships with the subjects & communities he has aligned with.

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, 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.

Edison premiered his film The Songbird of Manzanar (2016) at L.A. Louver in Venice, California. Mary Kageyama Nomura was present to speak about her life and to perform two of her favorite jazz standards live. Recently his 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.    


Curriculum vitae



2012: Bachelor of Fine Arts for Photography & Media, CalArts

2022: Master of Fine Arts Candidate for Film/Video, CalArts

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 - 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


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

2015: Depth of Field – Art Intersection Gallery, Gilbert, AZ

2014: Weston Four Generation Show / Developing the Future (exhibited as a Weston scholarship alumni) - 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


Artist Lectures & Film Screenings

2019: And Those Who Dance it Surrender Their Hearts to Each Other - film premiere at the Acadiana Center for the Arts, Lafayette, LA

2017: The Songbird of Manzanar - film premiere / panel discussion / live music performance with Mary Kageyama Nomura and Cody Edison moderated by Renee Tajima-Peña at LA Louver, Venice, CA

2014: Moorpark College, CA - visiting artist lecture 

2012: The International Center of Photography (ICP), NYC, NY - film screening and artist lecture for the "Memories Can't Wait" symposium 

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

Teaching Experience

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 


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