Jessica Hays is a conceptual photographer, alternative process printmaker, and artist based in Montana and Chicago. Her intimate work draws on personal experience to communicate ubiquitous human experiences, tackling topics like mental health, trauma, environmental issues and loneliness. Grounded in the American west, she explores relationships between people, places, and experiences of being deeply connected to ones surroundings. Her work blurs the lines between the uniquely individual and collective experiences.
Hays works in a variety of processes including pigment printing, handmade artist books, video, and historic and experimental photo processes. She has lectured on topics of mental health and alternative process photography at conferences, mental health summits, and as a guest speaker in classrooms. Her work has been shown internationally in galleries as museums, published in a variety of magazines and textbooks, and is held in several public and private collections in the US and Canada. Hays earned an MFA in Photography at ColumbiaCollege Chicago, and earned a BA in Film and Photography and a BA in Environmental Studies concurrently at Montana State University. She was recently recognized as a Critical Mass Finalist and shortlisted for the BarTur Environmental Award. Hays’ work aims to explore the long lasting effects of the land on human psyche from trauma to restoration.
Studio Portrait by Ryan Parker