Jen Hunter is a self-taught Travel / Art Photographer and found object sculptor based out of Dayton, Ohio. Her love of photography was inspired by her father, John, who worked as a forensic photographer in the 1970’s and continued film photography as a hobby throughout her childhood.
Christmas 1976, in a motorhome in the Disney World parking lot, her father gave her first camera. A black, plastic, palm sized, Hong Kong 127 film camera. That is where the photography journey began.
In her mid-twenties, Jen spent several years traveling the country and practicing film photography while living in her 1978 Volkswagen van - which she, at one point, had regularly parked just outside the B/C door at Front Street. Eventually, Morty let her pull into the garage each night during the winter which led to renting and living in “Larry the car guy’s” old space. During that time, Jen hosted and participated in poetry readings, hung around the photographers involved in Image co-op, and experienced the people, art, and the party that was Front Street. In the late 90’s, Jen came back to Front Street with her husband Erik when they rented the corner unit on the second floor. They were in that space for several years in conjunction with her husband’s local business, Urban Village Renovations.
In the interim, Jen was the owner of a local catering business, Vagabond Catering, for 8 years. She has also, collectively, spent 12 years working in the nonprofit sector. Working with Social Justice, Crime Victim Advocacy, and Crisis Response both locally and throughout the United States. During her time in nonprofit work, she successfully created and implemented Healing Arts and Youth Arts Programs for the women and children she worked with in Montgomery and Greene Counties. Those programs were funded through Ohio Arts Grants.
The year 2020, the consistent love and practice of photography, and the courage to take the leap has brought Jen back to Front Street. “The dream is to pay the bills doing what you love, right? In an inspiring space, surrounded by creatives, while sharing your story and connecting with our Dayton community through art”. Her images are a reflection of her cross-country adventures, activism, and experiences over the past 30 years. “I’m often stopping to wander off into the folds... treasure hunting for that next moment that gifts me a beautiful frame of conscious connection to the world around us”. Jens eye is drawn to the details and this is reflected in her photography.
In addition to photography, Jen has funded much of her traveling through the sales of her found object sculpture. Primarily sales of found object wind chimes and mobiles. She has been making and selling these here in Dayton and across the country since 2005. You may have seen them in the Dayton area at the DVAC holiday gift shop, The Second Street Market, Bar Granada, or many of the summertime festivals.
2014 Mantra Magazine, Issue 4, p71
2009 Dayton Daily News, October 5, D6
2009 People’s Choice Award, by Dayton Create, Dayton Ohio
2019 Rocks and Portals, Bar Granada, Dayton, Ohio
2019 An Offering of Color, Bar Granada, Dayton, Ohio
2008 Annual Juried Show, DSPS, Dayton, Ohio
2007 Women in Photography, Dayton, Ohio