Keavy Handley-Byrne in a leather jacket and standing on a beach with their hand on their head

Photography (BFA)

Keavy Handley-Byrne is a photographer, a writer, and an educator. They are also an adjunct professor of photography at UArts. 


Keavy Handley-Byrne, born in 1991 in Rochester*, New York, is a photographic artist and writer who lives and works in New York City**. They hold an MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and a BFA from Purchase College, SUNY (State University of New York), both in photography. Handley-Byrne’s work addresses issues of queer identity and gender, with a particular focus on finding joy in the wake of trauma and loss.

*Haudenosaunee and Onöndowa’ga:’ land
**Canarsie and Lenape land


  • Handley-Byrne has taught courses at the International Center of Photography, New York City; the Rhode Island School of Design, Providence; and University of the Arts. They have acted as a visiting artist and critic at Simmons University, Boston; Endicott College, Beverly, Massachusetts; the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville; PrattMWP College of Art and Design, Utica, New York; and SUNY Purchase. They have also been an advisor to multiple independent study projects based in photography and photographic research.

  • Handley-Byrne’s photographic work has been exhibited across the U.S., including at RISD Museum and Sol Koffler Gallery, Providence, Rhode Island; ClampArt, Plaxall Gallery at Culturelab LIC and the School of Visual Arts, New York City; Photographic Center Northwest, Seattle; and The Yards Collective, Rochester, New York, as well as in multiple virtual exhibitions. Additionally, their work is included in many independent publications, including Witness, which was recently acquired by the library of the Museum of Modern Art.

  • They are a contributing writer to multiple photography- and arts-centered publications, including Photo-Spark, Round Lemon and Strange Fire Collective.

  • Prior to their academic career, Handley-Byrne was engaged with photography through their work at galleries and auction houses.


Explore Keavy Handley-Byrne’s website.

Follow Keavy Handley-Byrne (@keavyhandleybyrne) on Instagram. 

A purple and pink sunset in the background of an elevated roadway with a rainbow extending almost vertically to the top of the image
“Rainbow Highway,” Keavy Handley-Byrne
A black and white photo of two pieces of wood in an x shape and nailed to a tree
“XX,” Keavy Handley-Byrne
A photo of waves created by a boat moving through the ocean
“Ferrywake,” Keavy Handley-Byrne