Jess T. Dugan (American, b. 1986 Biloxi, MS) is an artist whose work explores issues of identity, gender, sexuality, and community through photographic portraiture. She received her MFA in Photography from Columbia College Chicago (2014), her Master of Liberal Arts in Museum Studies from Harvard University (2010), and her 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 Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the RISD Museum, the MIT List Visual Arts Center, the Museum of Contemporary Photography, the Harvard Art Museums, the St. Louis Art Museum, 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). Dugan is the recipient of a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant and was selected by the White House as a 2015 Champion of Change. In 2016, Dugan was honored as a Commended Artist by the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. for her photograph Self-Portrait (Muscle Shirt), exhibited in The Outwin 2016: American Portraiture TodayIn 2018, she was an artist-in-residence at Light Work and was the recipient of the Women Photograph + Nikon Grant. In 2019, she received an Infinity Award from the International Center of Photography in New York, NY.

She 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, Dugan founded the Strange Fire Artist Collective to highlight work made by women, people of color, and LGBTQ artists.  She is represented by the Catherine Edelman Gallery in Chicago, IL.

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Photo by Rafael Soldi

Photo by Rafael Soldi