Collette V. Fournier has an MFA in Visual Arts from the Union Institute and University at Vermont College, a BS in Biomedical Communications from the Rochester Institute of Technology, and an Associate of Arts/Science degree in Photographic Illustration. She has been working as an assistant to the campus communications director, campus photographer and an adjunct photography professor in the Photography Department at SUNY Rockland Community College since 1992. Fournier has worked as a staff photographer for The Bergen Record, The Rockland Journal-News, about...time magazine, freelanced for the New York Post, and freelances for the Image Works Stock Agency.
Earlier in her career, Fournier was selected by the Rochester City School District to photograph their 1987-88 educational tours to West Africa. From that trip she produced an audio-visual presentation entitled Faces and Places of West Africa. In 1988 she was honored by the American Association of University Women.
She has had three one-woman exhibitions including a 19-year retrospective. Her works have been shown in galleries in New York City, New Jersey, Texas, Rochester, Buffalo, Toronto, Montreal, Canada and the USSR. Her works are in the photographic collections of EnFoco, Inc., the Smithsonian Institute's National African American Museum Project, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Women in Photography International Archive, and in private collections.
Fournier collaborated with writer Adolph Dupree on A Ripple of Thunder!, a multimedia documentation of black motorcyclists in America. The show was reviewed among the best shows selected by the 1988/1989 Art in America/Art in Review and was documented in the CEPA Winter/Spring Quarterly 1988.
Her work has been featured in Deborah Willis-Thomas' Black Photographers, 1940-1988: An Illustrated Bio-Bibliography and Reflections in Black: A History of Black Photographers, 1840 to the Present, Emerge Magazine (for the story "Kemba's Nightmare") and in African Visions.
In 1993, Fournier curated "There Is a World Through Our Eyes: Perceptions and Visions of the African American Photographer", which featured educational activities and a photographers' panel discussion, and was catalogued. Fournier was the still photographer for an independent film entitled Fawns in New Jersey in 1997. She serves on the board of The Arts Alliance of Haverstraw and has served as a panelist for Arts Council of Rockland, and NYSCA. In 2003, 1998, and 1996 her works appeared in the national juried exhibitions "Small Images of Great Importance" and "Faces at The Edward Hopper House". From 1998 to 2000, in her capacity as documentary photographer, she photographed the 129-foot replica of the Cuban cargo vessel Amistad, focusing on her only African American shipwright Wayne Bartow.
Her photographs were included in "Committed to the Image: Contemporary Black Photographers" at the Brooklyn Museum of Art in 2001 and "Black New York Photographers of the 20th Century" at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.
In 2001 and 1999, she was awarded the National Council for Marketing and Public Relations Medallion Awards for Print Advertisement Series through Campus Communications at SUNY Rockland. Fournier has lectured on Women in Photojournalism and African American History Month at Empire State College's photography division.
Fournier is an active member of Kamoinge Inc., an African American photographers' collective. Through Atria Books/Simon & Schuster, Kamoinge published Sweet Breath of Life, A Poetic Narrative of the African American Family with Ntozake Shange in fall 2004. She is an active member of the University Photographer's Association of America. In 2004 received a Community Service Award from the Rockland County Legislature for the Arts.
Currently, the artist is writing a personal narrative on photography, maintains an ongoing exhibition schedule, and resides in Rockland County, NY.