Jess T. Dugan – Episode 5

For the 5th installment of PhotoWork with Sasha Wolf, Sasha and photographer, Jess T. Dugan, speak with one another from their respective recording booths, better known as closets. Jess and Sasha discuss why Jess went to Columbia College Chicago specifically to study with Dawoud Bey, how working at a museum when she was younger has been beneficial to her subsequent career as a fine artist, and just how much people can really know you through your art work. Jess and Sasha also have a candid conversation about the strengths and differences between Jess’s two most well known bodies of work.

Jess T. Dugan (American, b. 1986 Biloxi, MS) is an artist whose work explores issues of identity through photographic portraiture. They received their MFA in Photography from Columbia College Chicago (2014), their Master of Liberal Arts in Museum Studies from Harvard University (2010), and their BFA in Photography from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design (2007).
Dugan’s work has been widely exhibited and is in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, the International Center of Photography, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Minneapolis Institute of Art, the St. Louis Art Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Photography, the Library of Congress, and many others throughout the United States.
Dugan’s monographs include To Survive on This Shore: Photographs and Interviews with Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Older Adults (Kehrer Verlag, 2018) and Every Breath We Drew (Daylight Books, 2015). They are the recipient of a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant, an ICP Infinity Award, and were selected by the Obama White House as a 2015 Champion of Change.
Dugan teaches workshops at venues including the Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Snowmass Village, CO, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, MA, and Filter Photo in Chicago, IL. In 2015, they founded the Strange Fire Artist Collective to highlight work made by women, people of color, and LGBTQ artists. They are represented by the Catherine Edelman Gallery in Chicago, IL.