CI Client In the News – Jess Dugan

 In Bianca Ranciato, Hasselblad, News, Photographer Spotlight

Newsworthy Work from a Great Client

Upon a trip to the Eastman House Museum, I stumbled upon the exhibition of To Survive This Shore by my client Jess T. Dugan. The project was a culmination of over five years of work from photographer Jess T. Dugan and social worker Vanessa Fabbre as they traveled throughout the United States seeking individuals whose experiences exist within the complex intersections of gender identity, age, race, ethnicity, sexuality, socioeconomic class, and geographic location.

Dugan’s work requires you to meet the gaze of each portrait as you read their story. After experiencing the power and intimacy in each piece myself, I just cannot recommend this work enough. While the few samples we’ve taken from this project can do it no justice, it’s too good not to share. I encourage anyone in Rochester, NY to visit this exhibition, or at least visit the virtual tour at the bottom of this blog.


About Jess T. Dugan

Dugan is an artist whose work explores issues of identity through photographic portraiture. Dugan’s work has been widely exhibited and is in the permanent collections of over 35 museums 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 and an ICP Infinity Award, and were selected by the Obama White House as an LGBT Artist Champion of Change. They are also represented by the Catherine Edelman Gallery in Chicago.



Enhancing Storytelling Through Collaboration

The project’s participants have a wide variety of life narratives spanning the last ninety years, offering an important historical record of transgender experience and activism in the United States. Within the project, each of Dugan’s photographs is accompanied by an excerpt from a full-length interview conducted by Fabbre. These texts give insight into each individual’s lived experience, enhancing the viewer’s connection to each subject’s story. The exhibition provides a nuanced view into the struggles and joys of growing older as a transgender person and offers a poignant reflection on what it means to live authentically despite seemingly insurmountable odds.


Conversation with Jess T. Dugan & Vanessa Fabbre


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