Oates has a B.F.A. from the Rhode Island School of Design and M.F.A from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Oates currently resides and works in Brooklyn, NY. Oates has had eleven solo shows at venues including Real Art Ways, A4L Gallery, A Taste of Art Gallery, Sara Nightingale Gallery, Henry Street Settlement and the Sol Mednick Gallery at the Philadelphia University of the Arts.
Oates has been in over one hundred group exhibitions around the world at venues including Flux Factory, Storefront for Art, IRC Gallery, Proteus Gowanus, Nurture Art Gallery, Collective Gallery 173-171, Shore Institute of Contemporary Art, Elizabeth Heskin Contemporary, Gallery Aferro, Hun Gallery, Metaphor Contemporary Art, AG Gallery, Rosalux Gallery and The Center for Book Arts and internationally at the Royal Scottish Academy & Open Eye Gallery in Scotland, Open Studio Gallery and Spin Gallery in Toronto, Galerie Joella and Turku City Art Museum in Finland, Swinton Art Centre, Paintworks Gallery and University of Northampton Art Gallery in England.
In 2008, photography collector Ruben Natal included Oates's work in an Aperture panel on collecting photography. In addition, Oates had a two person show at Broadway Gallery in Soho and was included in group shows at The WAH Center in Brooklyn, International Print Center New York, Prince George Ballroom Gallery in New York, Wave Hill in NYC, The Tuscon Museum of Contemporary Art in Arizona, C. Emerson Fine Arts in Florida, Torpedo Target Gallery in Virginia, NEME and National Centres of Contemporary Art in Russia and Cyprus and in the Convergence Conference for the Mid America Print Council.
In December 2008 Oates will be showing work at the Bridge Art Fair Miami during Art Basel. Works by Oates have been shown in Photo New York, AAF Contemporary Art Fair and The Pool Art Fair in NYC and Miami.
Work by Oates was recently featured in American publications the Daily Constitutional, Zingology Online Arts Magazine, Studio Views Magazine and The Drain Journal of Contemporary Arts Magazine and in Lirvraison Rhinoceros from Belgium and Front Magazine from Toronto. Oates work has been mentioned in The Village Voice, Umbrella Magazine, NY Arts Magazine, Big Red and Shiny Arts Journal, Boston, The Southampton Press, The Spleen, Projector Chicago, and the Chicago Reader.
In 2008, Oates photographed in Newfoundland, Canada and she will be photographing in Beijing, China on the NY Arts Magazine Residency Program. Oates has attended three residencies at the Ragdale Foundation in Illinois, a residency at the Caldera Foundation in Oregon, and a residency at The Taipei Arts Village in Taiwan. She is the recipient of several awards including a Fulbright Fellowship for study in Scotland, two grants from the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, an honorable mention for Hey Hot Shot from Jen Bekman Gallery and an Artists Grant from Artist Space in NYC.
Photography by Oates was featured on the TV sets of "Lipstick Jungle" starring Brooke Sheilds and "Canterbury's Law" and on the movie sets of “Perfect Strangers”staring Halle Berry, “Little Children” staring Kate Winslett and “The Forgiven” staring Julianne Moore.
Oates’s work is in the private collections of Julianne Moore, Ruben Natal, Susan Bode-Tyson, Bill Groom, Laurence Asseraf, Natalie Domchencho and Mark Waskow and her works on paper are in many public collections including the National Museum of Women in the Art, The Brooklyn Museum, The British Library, The Walker Art Center Libraries, The Smithsonian Libraries and the Franklin Furnace Archive at MoMA.
Oates has curated over thirty group exhibitions/projects in the NYC area at venue such as The Center for Photography at Woodstock, Chashama, Michael Mazzeo Gallery, 111 Front Street Galleries, Nuture Art and The Organization of Independent Artists. Oates also has curated in the Chicago area at The Peace Museum, Randolph Street Gallery and The Noyes Cultural Arts Center. Oates currently writes for NY Arts Magazine.