About Michelle Ciarlo-Hayes

Until the age of ten, Michelle was certain the secret passage into Narnia truly existed and if she just rifled through enough closets and cupboards, she would find it.

Fables, fairy tales, and legends have always enchanted Michelle, her favorites being those where feisty and daring heroines like Lucy and Alice run off to have wild adventures. Graduate studies brought her to the University of Oxford, where she would read in the same gardens that inspired C.S. Lewis and Lewis Carroll’s imaginations, and her whimsical, witty, and joyful {with just a hint of quirky thrown into the mix} artwork is still influenced by this idea of magical worlds that mingle with our own. Before becoming a full-time artist, Michelle was a librarian and spent her days surrounded by her very favorite thing… books. The irreparably damaged titles found a home in her studio rather than in the recycle bin, and the idea for her art blocks was born. Her line of home accessories is inspired by her interior designer mother and an expert seamstress grandmother who taught Michelle to stitch, knit, and sew. Many beautiful family heirlooms {like her great-grandmother’s silverware and her great-grandfather’s typewriter} appear in Michelle’s art and designs, which she creates by blending her collection of antique cameras and viewfinders with traditional film, digital collage, and painting.

When she’s not crawling through the grass to capture the perfect photograph, Michelle is busy making art in her Philadelphia-area studio, where she lives with her husband, two young boys, and two very badly behaved dogs. You can find her beautifully handcrafted wares in select galleries and boutiques nationwide. Visit mkc photography on Instagram and click the video below for a peek inside the studio! Michelle is a member of MamaCITA, an award-winning artist collective, and she received the 2014 Artist Cultural Exchange prize for “Alone With the Stars,” her mixed-media piece honoring Amelia Earhart.

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