B.F.A. Photography Alumna Hannah Altman Named to List of "Exciting Contemporary Photographers Whose Work You Have to See" in Vanity Fair Alumni Profile
Meet Hannah Altman
- Job Title & Employer
- Professional Artist
- Ringoes, N.J.
- High School
- Hunterdon Central Regional High School
- Now Living In
- Providence, R.I.
"What makes Hannah unique is her ability to engage in the content she learned while a student, all while holding parallel conversation with the photography community outside of the classroom. Building that bridge as an industry professional is incredibly difficult and takes time, finesse and commitment to her personal work and the field. Hannah strives for diverse voices - including her own - through her photographs, and we cannot be more proud of her and what her work represents. Her newest monograph, Kavana, builds an important relationship to Jewish historic narrative and tradition, constructed in the realm of the tableau. As a mentor, it’s exciting to watch her develop her language through her graduate studies and quickly spring her career into motion while staying consistent and true to herself, her work and the communities touched. This is not the last time we will see Hannah’s work appear on a list, and we celebrate her well-earned achievements!"
"Point Park’s photography program has helped me develop the tools I needed to grow as an artist ... The location in Downtown Pittsburgh was monumental for me as a student; as soon as I exited the classroom, I was in a city that felt big enough to grow into and small enough that meeting new people and seeing galleries was always an accessible opportunity."
You are featured as an "Exciting Contemporary Photographer Whose Work you Have to See" in a recent issue of Vanity Fair. Tell us more about that.
The Vanity Fair article is a feature on the new Silver List, which is a resource launched this year by Silver Eye Center for Photography, Carnegie Mellon University and the Black List. It features the work of 47 contemporary photographers who were chosen by 500 curators, educators, scholars, critics, publishers, etc., in response to prompts asking: who is a living, early-career photographer whose work deserves to be seen by more people?
Highlight professional opportunities you have had as an artist.
I recently produced a monograph Kavana, published by Kris Graves projects, that features my body of work. The project explores Jewish ritual as a site that nurtures collective memory and explores photography’s relationship to creating sacred time. The book has been collected by the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art. I am currently developing this work further in preparation for a solo exhibition this summer.
What inspires you as an artist?
Sunlight, short stories, working in intimate environments with new people and learning new things.
How has Point Park’s B.F.A. in photography program helped you advance in your career?
Point Park’s photography program has helped me develop the tools I needed to grow as an artist. Ben Schonberger provided invaluable advice on the development of long-term projects. April Friges demystified everything from the art world to Photoshop shortcuts. Previous instructors Matt Adams, Matthew Conboy and Jessica Steigerwald all demonstrated inspiring enthusiasm for photography in ways that helped me realize this was the medium of my life.
What do you believe sets Point Park’s photography program apart from other universities?
Point Park’s location in Downtown Pittsburgh was monumental for me as a student; as soon as I exited the classroom, I was in a city that felt big enough to grow into and small enough that meeting new people and seeing galleries was always an accessible opportunity.
You recently spoke to photography students as part of the Visiting Artist Virtual Lecture Series. What advice did you offer students?
Take time with ideas; they don’t need to be executed over one homework assignment and then immediately disregarded. Similarly, projects are never fully “done,” they shift and evolve with time — accepting and even welcoming the trial and error of new ideas is a tactic that will eventually lead you to your best work yet.