Melanie Light has been involved with both the community of photographers and the photography marketplace for over two decades. Currently, she manages a private art collection comprised of fine art photography, works on paper, painting, sculpture, and collectible books and records. She appraises fine art, but specializes in photography for insurance, donation and estate purposes.
She is the founding executive director for Fotovision, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting the creation and exposure of social documentary photography. She curated exhibits, produced fine art photographic group portfolios and a public lecture series for such internationally known photographers as Sebastiao Salgado, Eugene Richards, James Nachtway, Alex Webb, Alec Soth and many others.
As an author, Light has written about photographers for exhibitions at the Oakland Museum of California, the Museum of Photographic Arts and the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, and such periodicals as L’oeil de la Photographie, National Press Photographers Association, the Fotovision Newsletter, Journal of Photographic Arts, and others.
She has published photography monographs for Larry Fink, Stephen Goldblatt and Turkish photographer, Melih Arican. In addition, she has collaborated with Ken Light on three photographic monographs, Coal Hollow (UC Press, 2004), California Book Award winner Valley of Shadows and Dreams (Heyday, 2012) and What’s Going On? (Light2Media, 2015). These bodies of work have been shown internationally and she has been interviewed extensively about them.
She holds a B.A. in Art History from Smith College and a M.A. in Counseling Psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies. She has taken independent coursework through the New York University School of Professional and Continuing Studies for the program affiliated with the American Association of Appraisers for the fine and decorative arts. In addition, she has trained with the American Institute for Conservation to plan for and respond to preserve collections in the event of a catastrophe. Light is USPAP compliant through March, 2020 and an Associate Member of the Appraisers Association of America.
She has received the California Book Award and is the recipient of grants from the Soros Documentary Fund and the Rosenberg Foundation. Light teaches and lectures internationally.