Vimeo channel: https://vimeo.com/priestley
Joanna Priestley is an animator and teacher. She currently resides in Portland, Oregon.
Priestley was born in Portland, Oregon to Arthur James and Mae Irene Priestley. She grew up with horses, dogs, cats, a zoetrope toy, comic books and fantasies about being a cowgirl. Priestley studied painting and animation at Rhode Island School of Design and received a BFA in art from UC Berkeley, graduating with honors. Priestley received a Master of Fine Arts in Experimental Animation from the California Institute of the Arts, where she received the Louis B. Mayer Award and was teaching assistant for famed abstract animator Jules Engel.
In 1988, after graduating from CalArts, Priestley returned to Portland, Oregon to found ASIFA-Northwest with Marilyn Zornado. This ASIFA chapter included the northwest region of the United States which comprised Portland, Seattle, Vancouver B.C., and the areas in between. It is now known as ASIFA-Portland. She was president of ASIFA-NW for four years.
Priestley has directed, produced and animated 27 short films, an abstract feature film, North of Blue (2017) and Clam Bake (2014), an iOS app. A documentary about her has been broadcast on PBS and BBC2 and she has done animation pieces for Sesame Street and animated segments of music videos for Tears for Fears, and Joni Mitchell. Priestley’s background includes Coordinator of the Northwest Film and Video Festival, Director of Strictly Cinema, Editor of “The Animator”, Regional Coordinator of the Northwest Film Center and Co-Director and Co-Founder of FILMA: Women’s Film Forum. Priestley has had retrospectives at the British Film Institute, National Film Theatre (2017, London, UK), Stuttgart International Animation Festival (2016, Stuttgart, Germany), Tricky Women Animation Festival (2016, Vienna, Austria), Hiroshima Animation Festival (2014, Hiroshima, Japan), REDCAT (2009, Los Angeles, CA), American Cinematheque (2005, Los Angeles, CA), Jeonju International Film Festival (2005, Jeonju, South Korea), Walker Art Center (2005, Minneapolis, MN), Museum of Modern Art (2000, New York, NY), Masters of Animation (2000, Thiruvananthapuram, India) and the Center for Contemporary Art (1990, Warsaw, Poland).
Priestley has received fellowships from Creative Capital, National Endowment for the Arts (USA), American Film Institute (USA), MacDowell Colony (USA), Fundación Valparaíso (Spain), Millay Colony (USA), Klondike Institute of Art and Culture (Canada) and the Caldera Arts Foundation (USA). She was awarded the 2007-08 Media Arts Fellowship from the Regional Arts and Culture Council and her films are in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art (NYC), the Academy Film Archive and the Library of Congress.
Priestley’s influences include David Hockney, Jane Aaron, Oskar Fischinger, Len Lye, Norman McLaren and Jules Engel. She has taught animation, portfolio design and cinema history at the Pacific Northwest College of Art, Northwest Film Center/Portland Art Museum, Art Institute of Portland and Volda College (Volda Norway) as well as teaching animation workshops throughout the USA and in Canada, Germany and Norway. She is an ardent proponent of animation as an art form and has presented papers at the Society for Animation Studies Conference and works to improve the status of animation in academia, museums, galleries and the media worldwide. Priestley has been a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences since 1992.