Jo Dery is an artist who experiments with visual storytelling. Her creative practice is rooted in drawing and writing. Her stories are inspired by folklore, memoir, and a deep love of the natural world. Each project takes the form that is most appropriate for its concept and content: a film, a book, an installation, a performance – or something new. She aims to balance the use of digital tools with evidence of the handmade, embracing an idiosyncratic personal aesthetic that is both playful and poetic.
Jo’s animated short films have screened at the Ann Arbor Film Festival, the International Film Festival Rotterdam, and the Eyeworks Festival of Experimental Animation. In 2012, she received the Helen Hill Award, which supports innovative independent filmmakers, and in 2013 she was included in Chronicle Books' Animation Sketchbooks. She has been awarded grants from the LEF Foundation, the Free History Project, the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, and the Vermont Arts Council. Her drawings and prints have been exhibited in Providence, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Berlin. Her books can be found in independent stores like Quimby's (Chicago) and Little Otsu (Portland), and her comics have been listed as "Notable Comics" in the Best American Comics series three times.
Jo earned a BFA in Film/Animation/Video from the Rhode Island School of Design and an MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts from Goddard College. She has completed residencies at MacDowell and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, as well as participated in an animation workshop at the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow, Poland, with filmmaker Jerzy Kucia. In 2016, she traveled to Finland after receiving a Whiting Fellowship to study the life and work of artist and writer Tove Jansson.
She has more than a decade of higher education teaching experience, with a specialty in Film/Video and Animation. She is currently an Associate Professor of Film Studies at Keene State College in southern New Hampshire.
Jo lives with her son, dog, and pet snake in Brattleboro, Vermont.