Over the years, I have had the pleasure of exhibiting some of my work, and it is always an honor to be asked to talk about my work as well. Here you will find a sampling of some of those times...

  • 2024:  Women United Art Magazine Special Edition 2024: Front/Back Covers and Feature of Lemonade Series
  • 2024:  Art Critic review of Lemonade solo show by Genie Davis of Diversions LA.
  • 2024:  Interview Feature in Women United Art Magazine: Weekly Wonder Woman, Patricia Fortlage
  • 2024:  Opulent Mobility Podcast with Laura Brody: Featuring Patricia Fortlage
  • 2023:  CanvasRebel Magazine Feature: Patricia Fortlage
  • 2023:  Post Exertional Mayonnaise Podcast with Daniel Moore
  • 2023: Digital Photography Magazine Issue 270:  Pro Column Feature, Patricia Fortlage
  • 2023: Where Are The Women Artists (WATWA) Featured Artist, Instagram Takeover, Patricia Fortlage
  • 2023: Women United Art Movement:  FEATURING Patricia Fortlage
  • 2022: OpenShow Los Angeles, Guest Speaker Series
  • 2021: APA San Diego:  Meet Patricia Fortlage
  • 2020: Dodho Magazine:  Female Empowerment Photographer
  • 2020: Religion Unplugged:  How A Stranger’s Kindness Transformed a Village in Malawi
  • 2020: “California Love, A Visual Mixtape” Book:  Contributing Photographer
  • 2020: Art + Cake Los Angeles Feature:  Personal Interview
  • 2019: Artsy Couture Feature:  Fearless Females
  • 2018: University of Arizona College of Engineering News:  Marine Corp Veteran, Wonder, girl!
  • 2016: Global AIDS Interfaith Alliance:  Contributions of Dr. Don Thomas
  • 2016: National Geographic Your Shot:  Windmill Joiner
  • 2016: Too Young to Wed Social Media Campaign:  Malawi Mother and Child
  • 2016: Malawi Children’s Village Fundraising:  Nettie’s Sewing Project
  • 2015 - Ongoing: Wonder, girl! Campaign
  • 2015 - 2018: Othakarhaka Foundation Literature and Press:  The Story of Ida Puliwa, Passing on the Kindness
  • 2015: Theatre Simple Publicity Campaign:  “Death of Brian”
  • 2015: Flashes of Hope:  Camp Korey Summer Camp


  • 2024:  Gallery 825, Making Meaning, Los Angeles, CA: “Fighter”
  • 2024:  Brand Gallery, Works on Paper, Glendale, CA: “Object Recall”
  • 2024:  MOAH: Cedar, Annual Juried Exhibit, Lancaster, CA: Three Installments from the Lemonade Series
  • 2024:  Brea Gallery, Made in California, Brea, CA: “No Simple Tasks”
  • 2024:  Hyde Gallery, Trauma, San Diego, CA: “Self-Sabotage”
  • 2024:  Photo Place Gallery, Self and Others, Middlebury, VT: “The Breath”
  • 2024:  The Makery Gallery, Fresh Take, Los Angeles, CA: “Identity”
  • 2024:  Hive Gallery All Star Jam, Los Angeles, CA: Three Installments from the Lemonade Series
  • 2024:  Shoebox Projects Online Solo Exhibition, Los Angeles, CA: “Lemonade, My Chronic Illness Story”
  • 2024:  The Makery Opulent Mobility Group Exhibition, Los Angeles, CA: “On The Menu” and “Elixirs”
  • 2024:  TAG Gallery LA Open Group Exhibition, Los Angeles, CA: “Tutus Are Not For Wimps”2023: Griffin Museum of Photography Winter Solstice Group Exhibition, Winchester, MA: “The Breath”
  • 2023:  Baldwin Ave Gallery Foto and Clay Exhibition, Sierra Madre: “Fighter”
  • 2023:  Soho Photo Gallery APA New York Annual Group Exhibition, New York: “The Breath”
  • 2023:  Gallery XII Focus Photo AL Exhibition, Santa Monica: “The Breath”
  • 2023:  Shoebox Arts Perceive Me 2 Group Exhibition, Los Angeles: “The Breath,” “Slipping Mask,” and “Resilience” from the Lemonade series
  • 2023: The Center for Fine Art Photography Center Forward Group Exhibition, Fort Collins, CO: "The Breath" and "Assisted Journey"
  • 2023:  The Makery Enter the Goddess(es) Show, Los Angeles, CA: “Butterfly”
  • 2023: Decode Gallery Self Portrait Exhibition, Tucson, AZ: "The Breath"
  • 2023: TAG Gallery Made in the USA: Freedom of Expression Group Exhibition, Los Angeles, CA: "Assisted Journey"
  • 2023:  The Makery Alternative Photography Group Exhibition, Los Angeles, CA: “More Than A Face”
  • 2023:  Chateau Gallery The Narrative Exhibition, Louisville, KY: “Babylon”
  • 2023:  Women United: IAMWOMEN: Reimagining Her Light Group Exhibition: “Chronic Illness” “Emotional Numbness” and “Self-Sabotage”
  • 2023:  Grey & Cash Solo Exhibition, Monrovia, CA: “Not As It Seems”
  • 2023:  Under the Mask Group Exhibition, Griffin Museum of Photography, Winchester, MA: “Correspond”
  • 2022:  Essick House Solo Exhibition, Sierra Madre, CA: “Wonder, girl!”
  • 2022:  LACP Undercurrents Group Exhibition, Inner City Arts, Los Angeles, CA: “Self-Preservation”
  • 2021:  Off the Clock Group Exhibition, APA LA, Hanger Gallery South, Santa Monica, CA: “Troubling Thoughts”
  • 2020:  Portrait: A Picture Show Group Exhibition, Black Box Gallery, Portland, OR: “Sade”
  • 2019:  Medium Photography Group Exhibition, Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, CA: “Wonder, girl!”

Ryan Pyle Podcast #51 | Patricia Fortlage

Recently I was a guest on Ryan Pyle's podcast. Ryan is a photojournalist and adventure TV producer and host. We talked a lot about what life is like as a photographer working overseas and I also had the opportunity to talk about my latest photographic series, Lemonade. Give it a watch and let me know what you think!

Shoebox projects, january 17, 2024

Lemonade, My Chronic Illness Story

Artist Talk with Patricia Fortlage

Moderated by Kristine Schomaker

Diversions la, JANUARY 17, 2024

Patricia Fortlage Makes Artistic Lemonade

Written by Genie Davis

Photographic artist Patricia Fortlage brings an ethereal beauty to her new exhibition, Lemonade, My Chronic Illness Story. The exhibition is at Shoebox Projects online gallery through February 25th. Take a long, deep, visual drink.

Fortlage’s inspiration for the series came from shared and nearly identical stories expressed by other women suffering from chronic illnesses and disabilities that were similar to her own. “While I cannot possibly represent an entire population because of the inherent variability in being human, I can definitely share my own experience and hope that people can relate to it. Our culture has very strong ideas on how I should look having a disability, how I should behave, what I should do about my health… if I should exist at all,” she explains.

The exhibition chips away at the stereotypes surrounding disabilities. “There is an overwhelming amount of discrimination, medical gaslighting, misogyny, and dismissal,” she says, along with the assumption that those with disabilities are somehow “faking ill health to gain some sort of perceived systemic benefit.” The reality, she notes, is the complete opposite. “The truth is, I AM faking it. I am faking WELLNESS. To do anything less leaves me vulnerable, dismissed, discarded.”

Her new series is designed to show “there is still beauty here, and power, and fight. That I have much yet to offer. Yes, there are challenges and there are truly gruesome moments… and some of that is shared as well… but I mostly aim to shine a spotlight on the resilience and fighting spirit and beauty that still lives within me.”

Viewers will see images and read writings from Fortlage that are both poignant and genuinely inspiring. There is a stunning image of the artist in a medical gown viewed from the behind, a trail of pearl necklaces running like tears down her exposed back. The image is accompanied by writing about the discovery of Tarlov Cysts that were only addressed by an out-of-town specialist after local doctors and surgeons dismissed her.

In her image “The Breath,” butterflies land on Fortlage’s face, caressing and sustaining her, as she receives oxygen through a nasal cannula.

“On the Menu” is a gorgeous still life reminiscent of 17th century Dutch Golden Age paintings. Along with the flowers and fruit in Fortlage’s image, there are medicines and medical devices. “File 13 or Circular Trashcan” refers to the medical system’s discard of patients whose chronic conditions they fail to understand. Once such trash can is the trivialized Chronic Fatigue System. The image here is a truly haunting one, a black and white photo discarded in a clear plastic cup.

“Manifesting” presents the viewer with a candlelit altar devoted to a variety of medications and treatments, as well as a pretty mask the artist wears figuratively to conceal her condition from those who tire hearing of it. In another image, a levitating double of the artist floats above herself as she lies on the ground, as she questions whether she is still “in there,” despite being unable to pursue her full-time job or athletic activities.

There are images of an overly familiar and thus no-longer frightening MRI tunnel; a piece titled “Weapons of Battle,” in which walking aids are displayed like precious samurai swords; and a lovely image of a perfect floral skirt worn by Fortlage above leg braces. Viewers also see the contents of her purse; the sterile emptiness of a doctor’s waiting room; and in “Elixers,” beautiful but frightening cocktails are presented in voluptuous focus on a silver tray, while medicines are revealed in soft focus behind them.

Also exhibited are a lush noir image of cigarette smoke rising to cause an immune compromised “flare,” while words of fragile independence describe the meaning of another image that reveals a disabled parking sign outside and parking tag inside a vehicle. The exhibition concludes with a somberly lovely and eerie image, “Troubling Thoughts,” which depicts the artist in a bathtub as seen from above, isolated, and alone.

This collection of images is as devastating as it is beautiful, and one that the artist describes as an outgrowth of prior work and who she is as an artist. “I am a documentary and fine art photographer by trade, but I would also describe myself as a subtle activist. I am consistently creating work in hopes to educate and/or inspire positive change… especially for women and girls. This work certainly builds upon that foundation.”

As should be obvious from viewing the exhibition, Fortlage is creating truly lovely and lovingly revealed images that also expose the need to understand “the discrimination, medical gaslighting, misogyny, and dismissal that those of us with chronic illness and disabilities face.” She calls the show a small step toward “exposing that behavior, in lifting the veil, and calling it out.” She hopes that viewers will join in her effort to do just that and lead the way forward with “love and compassion.”

Certainly this fine visual exhibition and its accompanying, poetic, deeply felt prose will encourage just that. Enter the exhibition online and prepare to be moved; and do tune in to the artist talk, Wednesday the 17th at 6 p.m. 

read the full article online here...


Patricia Fortlage: My Chronic Illness Story

Interview with A. Laura Brody

Post exertional mayonnaise podcast, Nov 10, 2023

Patricia Fortlage: Lemonade

Interview with Daniel Moore

Art and Cake, January 17, 2020

Patricia Fortlage: Empowerment and Support for Women Through Art

Written by Genie Davis

Patricia Fortlage describes herself as a “female empowerment and activism photographer.” Working both in the U.S. and in developing countries, Fortlage describes her images as created to “make a difference in the lives of women and girls… to help remove injustices and erase discrimination.” She says that she works to support, educate, and inspire to assist in making women feel safe and fully empowered. According to the artist, “There are a multitude of studies proving that if you invest in women, entire communities will be raised.  To me this means entire social structures will benefit from the support and empowerment of women.”

Her dedication is evident in her current photographic images, as well as in her past work. “I began by supporting nonprofits and NGOs combating disease and poverty in developing countries,” she relates. She’s documented conditions and shared stories of struggle and success, helped to promote tourism in the poorest of nations, and overall, devoted her artistic work to furthering community development. “All of this work has been focused predominantly on women and girls,” she notes.

Today, her work takes place primarily in the U.S. “I have worked with programs that are rescuing women and girls from abuse and sex trafficking.  I have also created a campaign called  Wonder, girl!  that highlights young women breaking stereotypes of all kinds, in an effort to inspire and empower girls.  And now I am working with a licensed mental health professional who specializes in sexual assault and trauma.  We are creating images that depict what life is like for women after sexual assault.”

Fortlage works in both black and white and color. Her black and white images are dense, some with inky black backgrounds from which the central image appears to take shape and shed light. Of these works in which she eschews a multi-hued palette, she says “There are times when I feel color is distracting… and the story itself is just too important for distractions.”

Other images use crisp, clear, resonant color images that feel as bold as their subject, as with an image depicting Sierra Yamanaka outside the Pima County Democratic Party offices.

Overall her work is, as Fortlage puts it, “very solutions based.” As an artist, she wants to affect change, she believes strongly that her work is simply how she goes about doing just that. “Mainly I try to think through the topic of each series – the point of the story, if you will, and who the audience is.  I then try to get inside their heads to understand what would move that particular audience most.  From there I strive to create art that will achieve the desired impact.”

With her  Wonder, girl!  series she explains that she was highly aware that teens frequently viewed twenty-somethings as representatives of “what is possible, if not desirable. So, everything was shot in a hybrid environmental portraiture/editorial style, as though you are looking through your favorite magazine.”  The message she imparts here is  “Look at how cool all these young women are, and every single one of them is breaking stereotypes of some kind.  This means that whoever you are, no matter how unique, you are cool, too, so rock you,” she stresses.

For her  Life Sentence  project, Fortlage wanted to “help judges, juries, and the general public better understand the lifelong and often debilitating effects of sexual assault on women…  Some women will sleep in their closets for years out of a need for protection.  Others will go through one broken relationship after another, or turn to substances.  Some will end up with chronic illnesses.” All these scenarios the artist terms accurately as “life sentences for the victim.  The perpetrator of the crime, on the other hand, will often get a mere slap on the wrist, as though the embarrassment of getting caught has already caused them to suffer enough.  My goal is to change this. The thought is that perhaps if judges and juries could see an actual visual of what the victim’s life is like, perhaps it will resonate more, and the sentencing will become more equitable.”

Although Fortlage’s work is highly realistic, it also evokes a quality that is both intense and dream-like. The reason? “I want the viewer to have an immediate emotional reaction to my images, as opposed to an intellectual reaction.  My hope is that instead of having an opinion or beginning to assess my work as art, they will instead have a heart moment, one that will move them and inspire them in how they themselves move in the world.”

This desired intensity of action is just one aspect of what the artist wants to accomplish, however. “I also want the viewer to feel like the scene envelopes them, that all of a sudden, the scene has become all around them.  I try to accomplish this with light and luminance.  I push and pull the scene to create the enveloping process.”

As an artist and as a woman, Fortlage is deeply committed to creating work that continues to affect change for women and girls, and to work with other programs that are working for this same goal.

For the future, she says she’d like to “take things a bit more abstract so as to keep the viewer intrigued.  I am not sure exactly what that will look like just yet, but I am enjoying the steeping process.”

New work may steep, but her current images simmer with life, hope, and a passionate depiction of resilience. It is as fierce as it is fine.


read the full article online. here..