Jess and GroverJessica Somers is a photographer, educator, and parent to a large, four-legged, floppy-eared creature. She specializes in historic photographic techniques and self-portraiture.

Jessica has been in love with photography for most of her life. She was exposed to the act of picture making through her grandfather, an avid amateur photographer, and in the family bathroom-turned-darkroom after sunset. Here, she witnessed actual magic standing over the chemical trays watching an image appear where only a simple white sheet of paper was before. As a kid, she received a Kodak disc camera and fell in love with the act of expressing her individual view of the world from the 4 foot high perspective of a seven year old. Her height has since increased but her love affair with photography continues.

Jessica’s work has been exhibited nationally and has been published in various periodicals. Her research on alternative processes and select photographs are published in the 3rd edition of The Book of Alternative Photographic Processes by Christopher James.  Jessica is a 2022 Denis Roussel Award, Work of Merit recipient. She currently teaches photography at colleges and universities throughout Connecticut.


Selected Exhibitions
Family Ties, SE Center for Photography, Greenville, SC
Wonder, Center for Fine Art Photography, Online Exhibition

Rework It: Women Artists on Women’s Labor, Mattatuck Museum, Waterbury, CT
The Analog Forever Exhibit, LightBox Photographic Gallery, Astoria, OR
Treasures from the Vault, Photographic Resource Center, Roberts Gallery, Cambridge, MA
The Thing With Feathers, Viewfinder, online curated exhibition by What Will You Remember?
WE, the Women’s Caucus Exhibition, Xavier University Art Gallery, Cincinnati, OH
The Curated Fridge, Summer 2022 Exhibition
Fabricated Realities, Analog Forever Magazine, Online Exhibition
Exhibition #1, Diversity 365 Gallery, Three Rivers Community College, Norwich, CT
15th Anniversary Invitational Exhibition, Barnes-Franklin Gallery, Farmington, CT
Critters!, New Orleans Photo Alliance, New Orleans, LA
Nasty Women, The Institute Library, New Haven, CT
Alternative Photography, The Far Eastern Museum of Fine Art, Khabarovsk, Russia
Lemniscate of Diffusion, Invitational Exhibit, A Smith Gallery, Johnson City, TX 
[Photo]gogues, The Griffin Museum @ Lafayette City Center, Cambridge, MA 
Directions, Adjunct Faculty Exhibit, Lesley University College of Art and Design, Cambridge, MA
Through a Glass Refracted, Invitational Three Person Exhibit, Margaret L. Macdonough Gallery, New Haven, CT
Meditations on Being a Phoenix, Solo Exhibit, Gallery 136 ½, Manchester, CT
Everyday Icon, An Exhibition of Artist Fellowship Recipients, The Gallery at Constitution Plaza, Hartford, CT
Faculty Exhibition, Tunxis Community College, Barnes-Franklin Gallery, Farmington, CT
Your Daily Photograph featured artist, curated by Blue Mitchell
Faculty Exhibition, Peters Valley School of Craft, Layton, NJ
Peter’s Valley 2014 Benefit Auction & Dinner Event, Layton, NJ, contributing artist
Antiquarian Alchemy, Serenbe Photography Center, Chattahoochee Hills, GA
MFA in Photography, Thesis Exhibit, Main Gallery, Lesley University College of Art and Design, Boston, MA
Alternative Processes, Center for Fine Art Photography, Fort Collins, CO
AIB MFA in Photography Exhibition, Panopticon Gallery, Boston, MA
MFA in Photography Inaugural Exhibition, University Hall at Lesely University, Boston, MA
Illusion and Chemistry: The Alternative Process, The Kiernan Gallery, Lexington,VA
Beginnings: Stories and Starting Points, Black Cloud Gallery, Chicago, IL
AIPAD Photography Show, John Cleary Gallery booth (#120), Park Avenue Armory, New York City, NY
Show of Work by New Artists, Galerie BMG, Woodstock, NY
Photo LA, John Cleary Gallery Booth, Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, Santa Monica, CA
18th & 19th Century Alternative Photography Processes Exhibition, The Coburn Art Gallery, Ashland, OH
Going Forward Looking Back, Practicing Historic Photographic Processes in the 21st Century, Traveling
Found: Discoveries of FotoFest and PhotoNOLA, John Cleary Gallery, Houston, TX
(Por)trait Revealed, Rayko Photo Center, San Francisco, CA
Photography Re-Imagined an Alternative & Historical Process, Tilt Gallery, Phoenix, AZ
Jessica Somers ~ Selected Works, Solo Exhibit, PhotoSynthesis, Manchester, CT
Self Portrait: Silver Eye at 30, Silver Eye Center for Photography, Pittsburgh, PA
Be A Doll, Estel Gallery, Nashville, TN
Somers & Simoes, Two person exhibit, Barnes-Franklin Gallery, Tunxis Community College, Farmington, CT
Alternative Processes: A Traveling Exhibition, shown throughout Texas until 2011
Photography Re-imagined, Tilt Gallery, Phoenix, AZ
Black+White, ALL Gallery, New Haven, CT
Real Party, Real Art Ways, Hartford, CT
Central Connecticut State University Faculty Exhibition, New Britain, CT
Behind the Mask,Caladan Gallery, Beverly, MA
Real Party, Real Art Ways, Hartford, CT
Salon Des Independents, Hygienic Gallery, New London, CT
Home Is Where the Art Is, Cameron Gallery, Middletown, CT
Partners For Hope, Ericson Davis Gallery, Ivoryton, CT
Real Party, Real Art Ways, Hartford, CT
Step Up Slide Slam, Real Art Ways, Hartford, CT
Hygienic 26, Hygienic Gallery, New London, CT

Select Bibliography:
Fine Art – Best Photographers of 2023, book published by Dodho Magazine, February 2024
Don’t Take Pictures, Photo of the Day: Jessica Somers, Phoenix #1, September 10, 2016
Lemniscate of Diffusion | Volume VIII 2016, Featured Artist
THE HAND Magazine, Issue #9, July 2015
MONOVISIONS Black & White Photography Magazine, “Interview with Hand-Made/Portrait photographer Jessica Somers,” June 21. 2015
Dodho Online Photography Magazine, “Meditations on Being a Phoenix by Jessica Somers,” June 10, 2015
Dodho Online Photography Magazine, “Paper House by Jessica Somers,” June 5, 2015
Light Leaked, “Jessica Somers, Paper House,” May 18, 2015
The Hartford Courant, “Feminist Self Portraits At Photosynthesis,” Susan Dunne, May 5, 2015
The Book of Alternative Photographic Processes, 3rd ed., by Christopher James
Diffusion Magazine, Issue 3, 2011
Visual Overture, Featured Emerging Artists, Spring 2011
Art New England, November / December 2010:Volume 31, Issue 6, Photographers Drawn to Historic Processes By Carl Little
The Hartford Courant, Tunxis Instructor Receives National Teaching Award, February 2010
Diffusion Magazine, Issue 2, 2010
Filmwasters.com, Guest Gallery #51, January 2010
Review Discoveries Featured on Filmwasters.com, PhotoNOLA Website, December 30, 2010
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, “Self Portraits Celebrate Center for Photography’s 30th Anniversary,” August 2009
Shots Magazine, No. 104, Summer 2009
Folio Hunt, Online Photography Showcase, June 2009
Subjectify Photography Blog: The Subject of Contemporary Portraiture, “Subject Echo: The Power of Images,” June 2, 2009
F-Stop Magazine, The Portfolio Issue, June/July 2009
The Hartford Courant, “Tunxis Instructors’ Works Showcased at Gallery Exhibition,” March 2009
The Book of Alternative Photographic Processes, 2nd ed., by Christopher James, 2008
The Connecticut Art Scene, “ALL Gallery in Photo Finish,” Hank Hoffman, February 6, 2008
New Haven Advocate, “Selective Memory,” Leigh Gomez, March 18, 2004

2022: Work of Merit, Denis Roussel Award
2020: Artist Fellowship Recipient, The Connecticut Office of the Arts, Artist Fellowship Award
2015: Approaching Walden Seminar, Select Participant, Walden Woods Project, Concord, MA
2014: Faculty Development Grant Recipient, Lesley University College of Art and Design
2012: Research Grant Recipient, Connecticut State University American Association of University Professors
2012: Artist Fellowship Recipient, The Connecticut Office of the Arts, Artist Fellowship Award
2010: Finalist, Clarence John Lauglin Award, a New Orleans Photo Alliance Grant
2009: Honorable Mention, Body Pulses, Plates to Pixels
Excellence in Teaching Award, Honorable Mention, Center
2008: Honorable Mention, Photography Re-imagined, Tilt Gallery, Phoenix, AZ
2001: Judith Brown Memorial Award – New Britain Art League’s Annual Fall Exhibit
Honorable Mention – Looking Back…Looking Forward, Art Exhibit
Merit Scholarship, Hartford Art School
2000: Merit Scholarship, Hartford Art School
Honorable Mention: Best Photography, Discovery Museum Annual Art Exhibit

Photographic Storytelling through a Feminist Lens, The Mattatuck Museum, Waterbury, CT (April 2024)
Panelist for Designing Your Life for Success, Teach-in Day Event at Albertus Magnus College (March 2021)
Visiting artist for Canton High School, Canton, CT (April 2015)
Panelist for the Careers in the Arts Workshop, Tunxis Community College, Farmington, CT (October 2014)
Visiting artist for Avon Old Farms Preparatory School, Avon, CT (April 2014)
Presentation, One Hundred Days of Tintypes, f295 Symposium, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA (June 2011)
Artist Talk, Barnes-Franklin Gallery, Farmington, CT (March 2009)
Artist Talk, Plainville Art League, Plainville, CT (October 2009)

2011 – 2013 M.F.A., Photography, Lesley University College of Art and Design (Formerly The Art Institute of Boston) Boston, MA
-concentration in alternative processes and critical theory
2000 – 2002 M.F.A., Photography, Hartford Art School, University of Hartford, West Hartford, CT
1994-1998 B.F.A., Studio Art, Concentration: Photography, Minor: English, cum laude, Albertus Magnus College, New Haven, CT

Professional Activities:
Curriculum Developer: Photography, Tunxis Community College, Farmington, CT
Photography Instructor at Lesley University College of Art and Design, Boston, MA, and multiple colleges and Universities throughout Connecticut
Co-Organizer for Through A Glass Refracted, Margaret L. Macdonough Gallery, New Haven, CT, June 2015
Juror for Gallery 136 ½, A Midnight Eerie, September 2014
Photography research consultant to novelist Kathy Leonard Czepiel, New Haven, CT, 2014-2015
Research Assistant to Christopher James, Boston, MA, 2012-2013
Juror for Coburn Goes Small, The Coburn Gallery, Ashland University, Ashland, OH, April 2013
Assistant to Jill Enfield, Matte Albumen Workshop, F295 Symposium, Pittsburgh Film Makers, Pittsburgh, PA, June 2011
Exhibition of artwork in various galleries across the United States since March 2000
Represented by Catherine Couturier Gallery, Houston, TX
Scholastic Art Awards Juror for Photography, 2006 – 2015
Co-Organizer for Home Is Where the Art Is, A Benefit Exhibition for Gulf Coast Hurricane Victims, Middletown, CT, November 2005