Colleen Gutwein O’Neal
b.1981 New Jersey

Colleen Gutwein O’Neal is a photographer and curator from the Northeastern United States. O’Neal’s work is focused on the human experience through personal engagement, using photography as a way to build lasting relationships within her community.

Her most recent long-term work, The Newark Artists Photo Documentary Project, pays tribute to, and immortalizes through photographs, ninety-plus artists within the Newark arts community.  The project acknowledges the industrial and photographic history of Newark by incorporating the use of  film cameras manufactured in the city in the 1940s, resulting in ethereal portraits of the artists and ever-changing landscape of the city they inhabit. 

A natural extension to her photographic work, O’Neal curates contemporary exhibitions inspired by the artists she has built relationships with over time. Her collaborative approach with the artists promotes a collective exploration of socially conscious themes and creating access to and space for conceptual and experimental works.   

O’Neal is an Adjunct Professor of Photography and Contemporary Art at Rutgers University Newark, a volunteer at Index Art Center, and Community Partner at Shine Portrait Studio. Colleen has been exhibiting work since 2004, and her printed works are included in Hycide and Nowhere magazines as well as in the permanent collections of the Newark Public Library and the Thomas J. Watson Library – Metropolitan Museum of Art. She is currently studying for her master’s degree in American Studies, Humanities track, at Rutgers University, Newark.


Montclair State University, B.A. 2005 
Rutgers University Newark, MA, American Studies, Humanities Track, 2020 – current

Select Solo Exhibitions


#miniretro, Art & Artifacts of Newark, Newark NJ


Newark Artists Photo Documentary Project: We Are the Ghosts of our Future, Index Art Center, Newark, NJ


Time and Tide: Selected Works from Cambodia Tyson Gallery, Portland, OR

Time and Tide: Selected Works from Cambodia Ivanhoe Wheelhouse Museum, Paterson, NJ


KUMAGUTZ Index Art Center, *two-person exhibition with Hiroshi Kumagai, Newark, NJ


Time and Tide: A Social Documentary of Contemporary Cambodia Paul Vincent Gallery, Hoboken NJ


Gossamer Balance Salon Gallery, Jersey City, NJ


Thesis Exhibition Gallery 3.5, Montclair State University, Montclair, NJ

Select Group Exhibitions


Fifty Years of Inspiration and Impact: The Photographic Legacy of Klaus Schnitzer and His Students, George Segal Gallery, Montclair State University, Montclair, NJ 


Plume House Series: The Camera I Always Wanted, Shine Portrait Studio, Express Newark, Newark NJ ongoing

INDEX, NYFA Immigrant Artist Showcase, Index Art Center, Newark, NJ


Intersection 2017, Index Art Center, Newark, NJ

ArtReach XXV City Without Walls Gallery, Newark, NJ

The 5 Wards, Seton Hall University School of Law, Newark, NJ

Women in the World New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Newark, NJ


The 5 Wards, City Without Walls, Newark, NJ

Intersection 2016, Index Art Center, Newark, NJ

Newark Arts Photo Documentary: Selected Color Prints, Market Street Convergence II, Gallery Aferro & Newark Arts Council, Newark, NJ

Queen of Angels: When a Church Dies, Newark 350 Celebration, Newark NJ

Like Jazz…A Visual Perspective New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Newark, NJ


#SeeingNewark Post Pocket Utopia, Gateway Center, Newark , NJ

Emerging Ideas Newark Arts Council, Newark, NJ


Everything Like This Javier Santiago Studio, Montclair, NJ

New Digs Index Art Center, Newark NJ

ArtReach XXII City Without Walls Gallery, Newark NJ

Women in the Arts Newark Arts Council at the Newark Museum, Newark NJ


Intersection Index Art Center, Newark, NJ

Labor of Love  _Gaia Gallery, Jersey City, NJ 

ArtReach XXI City Without Walls Gallery, Newark, NJ

Printed in Newark The Gateway Project, Newark, NJ 

Single Fare 3 RH Gallery, New York City, NY


Nature Illuminated Van Vleck House & Garden, Montclair, NJ

Transformations Index Art Center, Oculus Art Collaborative, and Newark Arts Council, Kislak Building, Newark, NJ 

Index Goes to P-Town Index Art Center in Paterson, NJ 


3 Photographers The Kedar Studio of Art, Newark, NJ

Exposure: Select Photographic Works Paul Vincent Gallery Hoboken, NJ


Uncommon Threads Walsh Gallery, Seton Hall University, South Orange, NJ

Theatre Town New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark, NJ

Beautiful Women Paul Vincent Gallery Hoboken, NJ 

100 Artists JaJo Gallery,  Newark, NJ


The Westinghouse Project New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark, NJ

Black September Lex Leonard Gallery, Jersey City, NJ

Redsaw Invitational 2008 Red Saw Gallery Newark, NJ

Strange Country City Without Walls at Waldo Lofts, Jersey City, NJ


Metro 25 City Without Walls Newark, NJ 

Transport  Red Saw Gallery, side-gallery,  Newark, NJ 

Redsaw Invitational 2007 Red Saw Gallery Newark, NJ

Look See: Photographs on Reflection Brooklyn Artists Gym Brooklyn, NY


New Artists Week Wise Owl Gallery, Nagano, Japan


Thomas J. Watson Library, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY 

Newark Public Library, Special Collections, Newark, NJ 

Curatorial (selections)

People, Brick + Mortar Gallery, Easton, PA, 2019 

Ideogrammatic, Brick + Mortar Gallery, Easton, PA, 2019 

Bringing It All Back Home, Index Art Center, Newark, NJ, 2019

Vast Expanses, Brick + Mortar Gallery, Easton, PA, 2019

A Collection of Lines, Brick + Mortar Gallery, Easton, PA, August, 2019

5-UP, Brick + Mortar Gallery, Easton, PA, June, 2019

The Ether Acre, Index Art Center, Newark, NJ, May, 2018

Landholdings, Index Art Center, Newark, NJ, March, 2017

Forum in Form, Index Art Center, Newark, NJ, October, 2015

Dichotomy, presented by Index Art Center at Paterson Art Walk Paterson NJ, June, 2014

Chapter 237, Index Art Center, Newark NJ,  December, 2013


Rutgers University | Newark, Adjunct Professor, 2018 – current. Courses taught: Introduction to Photography, Seminar in Contemporary Art,  Senior Studio Seminar 

Newark Museum of Art, On Documentary Photography, four-part course, 2020

New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA), Immigrant Artist Program, Mentor, 2017 – 2019

City Without Walls, ArtReach Mentor Program, Mentor, 2013, 2014, 2017

Yashiro High School, Nagano, Japan, Teaching Assistant and Photography Club, 2006


Why American Studies? Why Now? American Studies Symposium, Rutgers University Newark, April 2021

Natural Light Photography community workshop, Newark Artist Database, July 2020

Newark Artists Photo Documentary Project lecture and slideshow Index Art Center, Art & Artifacts of Newark, Newark, NJ, 2019

Photographing Your Art, Guest Lecturer, Rutgers University, Newark 2017, 2018, 2019

Landholdings: Curator-led Gallery Tour & Discussion, Index Art Center, Newark, NJ, 2017

Women Speak: Art and Jazz at Newark 350, New Jersey Performing Art Center, Newark, NJ 2016

Forum in Form: Panel Discussion, Index Art Center, Newark, NJ, 2015

Cyanotype Workshop, Montclair Art Museum, Montclair, NJ, Montclair, NJ, 2014

On Documentary Photography, City Without Walls at Arts High School, Newark, NJ, 2014

Cyanotype Workshop, Newark Print Shop, Newark, NJ, Newark, NJ, 2013

On Documentary Photography, St.Peter’s Preparatory School, Jersey City, NJ, 2009

Community Engagement

Our Green New Deal: A Virtual Series of Community-University Working Sessions, Clement A. Price Institute on Ethnicity, Culture, and the Modern Experience, Rutgers University Newark, Scribe and Student Organizer, Sessions 1 & 2, 2021

EcoArt Salon,Clement A. Price Institute on Ethnicity, Culture, and the Modern Experience, Rutgers University, Newark, Committee Member, current

Shine Portrait Studio at Express Newark, Community Partner at Large, 2017 – current

Index Art Center, Newark, Gallery Assistant, Volunteer, 2006 – current

The Asheville Darkroom, Asheville, NC: Volunteer, April – August, 2016

Grants / Awards

Four Corners Public Art, Phase II “Community Building Through Public Art,” Newark Artists Photo Documentary Project Mural Commission, 2020-2021

Newark Arts, Special Project Photography Grant, Newark Artists Photo Documentary Project, 2018

Puffin Foundation Photography Grant, Newark Artists Photo Documentary Project, 2013

Alternate Ending Studios Productions International Photography Grant, Time and Tide, 2008

Photographer’s Forum, Annual College Photography Contest, finalist, 2005  


Plume House Series: The Camera I Always Wanted, SHINE Portrait Studio, 2019

Celebrating Frederick Douglass and Newark’s Abolitionist History, Noelle Lorraine Williams, Rutgers Today, April 2019  image only 

In Flux Issue Hycide Magazine, October, 2018

About Gladys Grauer, Gallery Aferro, 2018 – image only     

Newark Arts Photo Documentary, LinkNWK, city-wide public access kiosks, Newark NJ 2018

Marcus Samuelsson Marcus B&P Featured Artists, 2017 – current

Professional Development Blended Learning Blog Creative Capital, May, 2016

we are the ghosts of our future bluetan, May, 2016

The New People Hycide Magazine, October, 2014

Somewhere in Cambodia Nowhere Travel Magazine, July, 2014


The Shape of Things That Have Come, Jeanne Brasile, AS | Mag,  January 2020

Culture Shock: Season 2020, “People” + “After People” Megan Frank, PBS39 January, 2020 

Culture Shock: Season 2019, “Ideogrammatic” Megan Frank, PBS39 October, 2019 

The Shortest Distance Between A Local Artist and an Easton Gallery is a Straight Line, Connor Lagore, Lehigh Valley Live, August 2019 

A Dedication to Memory: Voices on Newark Arts, Newark Arts October, 2018 

Newark Women: From Suffragettes to the Statehouse Barbara Kukla, 2018

The Artist Recreates the World, Gary Campbell, YouTube, June 2016

Newark Arts Photo Documentary Project Creates a Window into the Scope of the City’s Art Scene, Brick City Live April, 2016

Open Doors 2015: Forum in Form Features Five Women Sculptors at Index Art Center Brick City Live, October, 2015

Up Close and Personal: Portraits of Newark, Newark Bound, July, 2015

Photo Project: Newark, Newark Happening, May, 2015

Interview: The Life of a Curator, Silk City Love Magazine, July 1, 2014

A Gallery is Revived, The Star-Ledger, January 19, 2014