Patricia Lay-Dorsey

Born in Washington, DC in 1942, Patricia Lay-Dorsey brings her training as a social worker (MSW, Smith College School for Social Work, 1966), studies in fine arts at Detroit’s College for Creative Studies (1976-79) and four decades as a visual artist to her work as a humanist photographer. On Instagram and in her long-term photo projects Patricia focuses on showing the day-to-day lives of herself and others from an insider’s point of view.

Lay-Dorsey and her photo essays have been featured in Newsweek Japan and New Mobility Magazine, on BBC World Update, the Huffington Post, ABC News Online, CBS News Online, The New York Times Lens blog, Vogue Italia, The Daily Mail, Slate Magazine’s Behold blog, Feature Shoot, and LensWork Extended, among others. She has had solo exhibits at The Griffin Museum of Photography (MA), Fovea Exhibitions (NY), Central Michigan University (MI), and in Detroit at Swords Into Plowshares Peace Center & Art Gallery, the Ellen Kayrod Gallery and at The Heidelberg Project’s Exposure Gallery. Duan Yuting, founding director of the Lianzchou International Foto Festival, chose to exhibit 24 prints from Lay-Dorsey’s self-portrait project, Falling Into Place, at her 2014 festival in China.

In November 2013 Lay-Dorsey’s self-portrait book on living with a disability, Falling Into Place, was published by Ffotogallery in Cardiff, Wales and is being distributed worldwide. This project was awarded 3rd prize in the 2010 FotoVisura Grant for Outstanding Personal Photography Project. It also took 1st prize in the Emotions category of Prague's 2013 Photo Annual Awards where it was shown at the Open Wall Exhibition in Teplice, the Czech Republic. Lay-Dorsey is currently using her book as a springboard to give slide presentations and facilitate interactive discussions about disability & creativity in universities, disability organizations and community groups.

Lay-Dorsey has photographs included in two recently published books: 10 A Detroit Anthology, edited by Anna Clark (Rust Belt Chic Press: May 2014); and 2) Looking at Images, by Brooks Jensen (LensWork: June 2014). She is featured in “They Call Me Grandma Techno,” a mini-documentary created in 2012-13 by Detroit filmmaker Clarence Johnson. In 2015 the film was shown at the Electric Roots Micro Music Film Festival sponsored by the Detroit Sound Project at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit, MI.

Since August 2013, Lay-Dorsey has been active on Instagram under the account name @patricialaydorsey. In August 2015 she was named by Time as one of the top 50 Instagram accounts to follow in America. In July 2015 Lay-Dorsey was featured on @instagram. She currently has 11.7K Instagram followers who often post comments supporting both her photos and the backstories she posts regarding her day-to-day life both at home and in Metro Detroit where she has lived with her husband Eddie for 49 years.

[email protected]

Instagram: @patricialaydorsey

Looking for America Instagram Residencies

Group Show
02 -31 October

@_LookingforAmerica Instagram Residencies

Patricia Lay-Dorsey, Huw Alden Davies, Will Steacy, Clementine Schneidermann