Chantal Heijnen (1976, The Netherlands) is a photo-based artist living in New York City, who works with documentary and portrait photography. She received a BA in Social Work, and worked for 10 years as a refugee counsellor in The Netherlands. In 2008, she graduated with honors with a BA in Photography from the Photo Academy in Amsterdam. Her former career as a social worker strongly influences her photography – it’s intimate, sensitive and socially engaged. She often likes to collaborate with the people she photographs and co-create art with other artists. 

She is a faculty member for the ICP Community Programs where she passes on her passion for photography to teenagers. She also teaches at Lantern Community Services, where she uses photography as a tool to work with New Yorkers in shelters who are impacted by or threatened with homelessness. 

Her work has been published in international newspapers and magazines, such as The New York Times, NYT LensBlog, Washington Post, Stern Magazine, and Vrij Nederland. She has been exhibited at LagosPhoto Festival, FotoFestival Naarden, FOAM, Bronx Documentary Center, Andrew Freedman Home and Photoville. 


Self portrait – The Bronx, 2008

2005 – 2008: Photoacademy, Amsterdam, Bachelor degree, Graduated with Honors
1995 – 1999: Social Academy, Nijmegen, Bachelor degree

group exhibitions
2020: Bronx now 2020 | Chashama Gallery – Manhattan, New York
2019: Lantern all-Art Show | Raw Space Gallery – Manhattan, New York.
2019: ‘Bronxites’ – Borough 5 exhibition | Black Diamond Gallery – Brooklyn, New York.
2015 : ‘Bronx Artist Documentary Project’ – Krasdale Gallery – Bronx, New York
2014 : ‘Bronx X Bronx’ – Bronx Documentary Center– Bronx, New York
2014 : ‘Bronx Artist Documentary Project’ – Andrew Friedman Home – Bronx, New York
2013 : “Fela Kuti’s Legacy’ – Photoville Festival – Brooklyn, New York

2013 : ‘Fela Kuti’s Legacy’ – Photo Festival Naarden – curated by Feiko Koster Eduard Planting, Netherlands
2012: Bronxites – Detroit Center for Contemporary Photography curated by David Bram, Detroit
2012: Bronxites PhotoPlace Gallery – curated by Kyohei Abe (DCCP), Vermont
2012: Bronxites Figment, Pop-up Show | New York
2011: Ghost Republic Somaliland LagosPhoto Festival | Lagos, Nigeria
2011: Ghost Republic Somaliland Art from the Heart – Pop-up Show | New York City, USA
2010: Bronxites’ video portraits  LekArt Festival | Museum Elisabeth Weeshuis| The Netherlands
2010: Bronxites – FOTOGRAFIA Photo Festival | Rome, Italy
2008: Bronxites’ video portraits FOAM Photo museum | Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2008: Bronxites Exposure time, NOORDERLICHT Photo Festival| Leeuwarden, The Netherlands

2019: Washington Post Open Call Award – Publication Uncle Gil
2013 : BKVB – Grant for Fela Kuti’s Legacy | The Netherlands

2012: Dutch Doc Award, nominated long list with the series Bronxites | The Netherlands
2012: BKVB – Publication Grant for Ghost Republic Somaliland book | The Netherlands
2012: CENTER Portfolio Review participant | Santa FE, New Mexico
2011: New York Times Lens Blog publication with series Bronxites
2010: Nominated for Prix ANI | Visa pour l Image Festival | Perpignan, France
2009: Eddie Adams Workshop participant | Jeffersonville, NY
2008: First Prize Photo Academy Award | Publication in De Standaard
2008: First Prize Photo Academy Award | Multi-media assignment Deloitte
2008: Nomination Photo Academy Award | Photo Museum Antwerpen

New York Times, Washington Post, Stern Magazine, GUP magazine, Caravan Magazine, Buffalo
Almanack, Hollands Diep, Vanity Fair, Vrij Nederland, Groene Amsterdammer, NRC Handelsblad,
NRC Next, de Volkskrant, de Tijd, OneWorld, De Standaard, De Tijd, Trouw

2014: Alex Webb & Rebecca Norris Webb, Miami, FL
2010: Antonin Kratochvil, Gallery VII, Brooklyn, NYC
2009: Eddie Adams Workshop, Jeffersonville, NYC
2007: Photo festival Noorderlicht, James Whitlow Delano & Pablo Bartholomew, NL
2006: Mary Ellen Mark, NYC

2013– current: Faculty member International Center of Photography (ICP)  | Community Programs
2014 –  current: Lantern Community Services, teaching photography in shelters in NYC.