Jessica Kalmar's evocative images connect the viewer to otherwise forgotten details in a seemingly shared world. She is primarily an analog photographer with a customized darkroom in her home. Much of her photographic work incorporates other elements such as paint or embroidery, and she is more partial to the less sophisticated types of cameras and lenses; when all combined help to articulate a message of wavering familiarity. Jessica's photographic work has been exhibited in the Mid-Atlantic and East Coast regions, and is found in a handful of public and private collections.

In 2008 Jessica started a photo-therapy group at a Pittsburgh based day treatment center for adults with developmental disabilities and behavioral health challenges where she was nominated for and won the Jefferson Award in 2011. Jessica taught photography in higher education for 15 years, and has been a guest speaker and guest instructor in southern Ohio and the Pittsburgh area.

Jessica was born in Oregon and grew up in Ohio with parents who encouraged traveling and experiencing life. Directly after high school graduation she joined the United States Navy and served four years in the Pacific Fleet on two now decommissioned auxiliary ships. Upon separation, Jessica earned an honorable discharge. She then focused on education and received a BS from Kent State University, a Professional Certificate in photography from Maine Media Workshops + College in Maine, and a MFA from Ohio University; currently she is a Master Gardener Trainee. Jessica now resides in rural south west Pennsylvania with her courageous husband David, and two cuddly cats, Rockyfeller and Magdalena. 

Artist Statement

Photography helps to see the details in the everyday. Following trails and shadows while searching and listening with the camera I become a trapper of sorts collecting treasures I want to share. Whether there are disturbances in the environment or an object surrounded by unlikely subjects, that quiet feature becomes important in the photograph. Concerned about becoming too disjointed in a fast paced world, the still photograph creates a timeless moment in which we connect.

Sweet Thunder, 1983