Jessica Somers ~ 2012 in Review, 2013 Happenings

© Jessica Somers, 2012
© Jessica Somers, 2012


Greetings and Happy 2013!  I hope this newsletter finds you well and that 2012 was good to you. My year was filled with many creative adventures that I am thankful for. I continued my journey towards earning a second MFA in photography at The Art Institute of Boston as a member of the inaugural class in Christopher James’ new program. I am so grateful for the opportunity I have been given as a student, receiving the continual challenges and rewards within the academic process. It will be a bittersweet experience when my studies conclude this May. I have already begun to feel the positive impact this experience is bringing to my art. On my website you can view some of the new work I have created as a result of my MFA program.

I was also involved in several group exhibitions and in addition to my regular college teaching schedule was able to teach some Alternative Photographic Process workshops. I will be expanding my workshop offerings in 2013 and will be offering instruction on a brand new alternative process, Athenatype, recently developed by Bostick and Sullivan co-owner, Richard Sullivan.

One of my high points this year was being awarded a 2012 Artist Fellowship Award by the The Connecticut Office of the Arts which allowed me to travel to Santa Fe to work directly with Dick Sullivan and Christopher James on the Athenatype in order to further understand and troubleshoot the process to be included in Christopher James’s upcoming 3rd Edition of The Book of Alternative Photographic Processes. 

I thank you for your continued interest and support in my work and I wish you a peaceful and healthy 2013.



While I do not have any exhibitions lined up for 2013 as of yet, I am pleased to announce I will be the juror for Coburn Gallery’s upcoming national exhibition Coburn Goes Small featuring artworks no larger than 20″ x 20.” Exhibition Prospectus to be posted in early 2013.

2012 Exhibitions:

Visual Texts, The Jewett Gallery of Art, Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA, curated by Ben Sloat

Four Perspectives-The Human Experience, Tools, New Britain, CT, curated by Craig Frederick

Alternative Processes, Center for Fine Art Photography, Fort Collins, CO

AIB MFA in Photography Exhibition, Panopticon Gallery, Boston, MA, curated by Jason Landry

MFA in Photography Inaugural Exhibition, University Hall at Lesley University, Boston, MA

Illusion and Chemistry: The Alternative Process, The Kiernan Gallery, Lexington,VA


In 2012 I had a great time teaching workshops in Ziatype, Kallitype and Modern Dry-Plate Tintype. In 2013 I will be expanding my workshop offerings…

Intro to Alternative Processes: Things have come full circle. At Albertus Magnus College, the school where I first learned about alternative processes and made my first alt pro prints I will be teaching the college’s inaugural Alternative Photographic Processes class, an intensive 1 week course which runs from January 7th-11th. Please check my facebook page to view the progress of the class during their week long journey. 

Athenatype Workshop: I will be instructing a workshop on the brand new alternative process Athenatype at PhotoSynthesis, LLC on January 12th-13th. Dick Sullivan has recently developed this all new alternative photographic process and PhotoSynthesis is the first venue to offer a workshop dedicated exclusively to Athenatype. 

The Personal Project: I have long believed that what drives an individual to create is more than just talent or craftsmanship. The desire to create comes from our experiences, the need to express the things we see and feel, a way to understand our desires and fears. This workshop being held at PhotoSynthesis, LLC is for advanced amateur and professional photographers looking to strengthen their personal connection to their work and for those seeking guidance in moving forward with an existing project. This workshop is not limited to photographers; artists working with an interdisciplinary approach are welcome. There are two opportunities to take this class – Session 1: March 6, 13, 20, 27, April 2, Wednesdays 6:00-9:00pm or Session 2: May 8, 15, 22, 29, June 5, Wednesdays 6:00-9:00pm… Participants are welcome to take both sessions if they wish to continue working on a more long-term project.

Ziatype Workshop: My most popular workshop returns to PhotoSynthesis, LLC. The ziatype is a modern alternative photographic process reminiscent of the 19th century platinum process, though it is more user-friendly and cost-friendly than the platinum process. When ziatypes are printed onto paper prepared with a salted gelatin sizing, commonly used in 19th century photography, the richness of tones and luminosity of highlights become more dramatic than what is possible with unsalted papers. This class is a two day intensive and runs from June 1st-June 2nd.


My grandfather was one of my earliest photographic influences. I would like to leave you with this essay on Photography and Culture which I wrote in honor of my grandfather…