“Missing You”, 2014, 18” x 25”, edition of 10, Archival Pigment Print



I am a mother, a wife, an artist, and an educator. I am the “fixer” in the family, as my five-year-old son says. I manage our family household while trying to maintain some kind of balance within my professional life. I am a busy and tired working mom.

The photographic series titled, Markers, documents my life, my family, and the parent-child relationship in a way that is not meant to be sentimental, but to be poetically descriptive and true in communicating the emotions that I have experienced in this complex role.

My children’s lives have been recorded since birth. I create portraits of them to better understand our individual relationships and to document their physical and emotional growth over time. I photograph them to be close to them and to make physical documents of the beauty I see in them everyday. This photographic evidence act as “markers” of my love for them, reference universal symbols of childhood and record the physical scars and stains of our everyday life allowing the viewer a glimpse in to the private moments of our family.

Joy Christiansen Erb received her B.F.A. from Miami University, Oxford, OH and her MFA from Texas Woman’s University. Recent exhibition venues include the Newspace Center for Photography in Portland, OR, the Griffin Museum of Photography in Winchester, MA, and the Center for Fine Art Photography in Fort Collins, CO. Her artwork has been highlighted in a variety of publications including two noteworthy textbooks. A portfolio of her most recent work is housed at the Museum of Contemporary Photography as a part of the Midwest Photographers Project in Chicago, IL. She currently resides in Youngstown, OH where she is an Associate Professor of Photography at Youngstown State University.