Renowned photographer Jess T. Dugan to speak at AU Tuesday night

Meet the artist whose work explores identity, gender, sexuality and community

Renowned photographer Jess T. Dugan to speak at AU Tuesday night

Photographer Jess T. Dugan.

Award-winning photographer Jess T. Dugan will share her artistic journey with students in the School of Communication’s Malsi Doyle and Michael Forman Theater as part of a AU Photo Collective event on Tuesday, Feb. 19 at 7 p.m.

The event, “A Decade of Visual Activism,” will discuss Dugan’s work over the past decade, her motivations for making photographs and her experience as a working artist. Dugan will also be available on Wednesday to review student portfolios and visit photography classes throughout the day, according to Photo Collective

Dugan’s work explores identity, gender, sexuality and community through portraits, according to her website. Her latest monograph, “To Survive on this Shore: Photographs and Interviews with Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Older Adults,” represents older transgender people who are nearly absent from society and those that do exist in society and are seen as one-dimensional, according to her website

“My personal identity as a queer person is inherently political, and the open portrayal of my body, experiences and family creates a platform from which I can intimately engage with others,” Dugan says on her website. 

Dugan received an Infinity Award for Emerging Photographer from the International Center of Photography in 2019. She is also a recipient of a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant, an Artist Fellowship from the Regional Arts Commission of St. Louis and the White House’s 2015 Champion of Change award. 

Dugan has exhibited at a wide range of venues including the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the San Diego Museum of Art and more. 

Dugan received her MFA in photography from Columbia College Chicago in 2014, her Master of Liberal Arts in Museum Studies from Harvard University in 2010 and her BFA in Photography from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in 2007. 

“A Decade of Visual Activism” is hosted by Photo Collective, as well as the AU Photography Program, the SOC Diversity Committee, the Center for Diversity & Inclusion Student Media and AU PRIDE.

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