Born in 1970 in Philadelphia, Strauss is a photo-based installation artist who was given a camera for her 30th birthday and started taking pictures of life in the city’s marginal neighborhoods. Strauss typically photographs whatever strikes her interest, paying particular attention to the overlooked details of life. In 1995, she started the Philadelphia Public Art Project, a one-woman organization whose mission is to give the citizens of Philadelphia access to art in their everyday lives. Strauss received a Seedling Award in photography from the Leeway Foundation in 2002, a Pew Fellowship in 2005, and in 2006 her work was included in the Whitney Biennial. She also mounted a solo exhibition at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia.