Philip Heying

Photographer Philip Heying lives in Matfield Green, Kansas. Born in 1959 in Kansas City, Missouri. Phillip learned the craft of black & white film and print development while in middle school. In 1983, he earned a BFA in painting from University of Kansas.

During his college time in Lawrence, Philip was introduced to William S. Burroughs and embarked on a friendship which lasted until Burroughsʼs death in 1997. Welcomed into the writer’s circle of friends–including Albert Hoffman, Allen Ginsberg, Brion Gysin and Timothy Leary–Philip found himself the beneficiary of singular artistic insight and guidance. During this time, his artistic focus shifted from painting to photography.


To date, Philip has completed eleven books, with two currently in progress. This medium allows him to experiment with new forms of visual communication through photography.

In the fall of 2008, Philip returned to Kansas to be closer to family and to pursue a long-held idea for the series Unimproved Land in Northeast Kansas, a photographic survey of the energetic ecological processes visible in the Midwestern landscape in the absence of human intervention. The Dolphin Gallery in Kansas City exhibited the completed series in 2011. Works from this well-reviewed show sold to area collectors and the Microsoft Art Collection.

Between 2010 and late 2019, Philip taught three different curricula in photography and managed a complex studio and photo education lab for a department of around 200 students per semester at Johnson County Community College in Overland Park, Kansas. During that period he also completed a series of photographs titled Within a Two-Mile Radius for One Year. Prints from that series were acquired for the permanent collection of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.

Philip recently completed work on A Visual Archaeology of the Anthropocene from Eastern Kansas to the High Plains, a project addressing the extraordinary power and consequences of human influence on the ecology of his home region. The Spencer Museum of Art in Lawrence purchased prints from this series for their permanent collection.

Since the completion of that project, Philip has moved to the town of Matfield Green (population 49) in the center of the Flint Hills tallgrass prairie, to pursue a long-term project exploring the potent complexities of the culture and essential prairie environment there. In April of 2022 he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for this project.