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Art & Life with Hannah Duggan

Today we’d like to introduce you to Hannah Duggan.

Hannah, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
I grew up in Petoskey, Michigan, a small town in Northern Michigan, and moved to Athens, Georgia while in high school. Although I had been drawing since childhood, I never took art seriously as a career. I had initially entered The University of Georgia as a mass media major, but my sophomore year decided to switch to art after taking an art elective and dedicating the majority of my time that semester working on projects for the class. Some highlights while in college were studying abroad in Italy through the UGA Cortona Study Abroad Program and working on murals in rural Georgia towns with classmates.

I recently completed my Bachelor of Fine Art in Painting from the University of Georgia in 2018. Right after graduating, I received a scholarship to attend the Chautauqua School of Art in Upstate New York. A week after that program ended, I headed to Texas to attend The Navasota Artist in Residency. As proposed for a project while attending the residency, I recently completed a painting a day series highlighting a news story that happened each day for the duration of September. The paintings dimensions are only 2.75” x 4” which is comparable to the scale of photojournalist images seen on mobile phones, tablets, and computers. The paintings create individual memorials out of the highly circulated, mass media images and separate the photojournalist image from the often-politicized article headline, although documentation of the events is available to viewers beside the installation.

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
Mass communication has enabled us to view and learn about global and national conflict at a pace we can never truly keep up with. We are exposed to headlines and photos of monumental events contradicted by viewing them on such a small scale, such as on mobile phones. I believe while the intentions of journalism are benevolent, the scale, uniformity, and pace at which we view it ultimately invokes both empathy and apathy. As a United States citizen who has grown up middle-class, I have found that most conflicts in headlines occur outside the limitations of my firsthand experience, yet I am constantly faced with images and texts regarding the events. I am interested in how, as viewers, can we contemplate and comprehend global and national events we are alienated from.

My painted assemblages present a way to memorialize and contemplate past events outside of the usual context of current events and the world at large. Sifting through print media and scanning through digital archives to find images to paint in a representational manner may seem redundant, but I believe painting a photograph preserves and honors the represented news event. I counter the rapid-fire nature of mass communication by dedicating the time necessary to paint images and conditions that have often fallen out of relevancy in the public eye. The painting’s events are analyzed and restaged in our mind, while the constructed sculptural elements lend the work a physical charge, an extension of the environment or sentiment found within the photograph itself pushed out into the actual dimensional space of the viewer.

Through this work, I assert that these events and situations they portray are still relevant and poignant to current events and act as reminders that success and failure may often be found in the experiences of our collective past.

Artists rarely, if ever pursue art for the money. Nonetheless, we all have bills and responsibilities and many aspiring artists are discouraged from pursuing art due to financial reasons. Any advice or thoughts you’d like to share with prospective artists?
I think it’s really important for artists to be adaptable to whatever situation they are in so they can continue their practice. It’s rare when artists actually have all the time, facilities, and finances to create whatever they would like. Attending artist residencies is a great way to have the time to create artwork and many offer free or affordable housing and stipends for living and materials. There are residencies, grants, competitions and fellowships meant to assist artists. There are many great resources for finding these opportunities such as:,,,,, and to name a few.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
I am currently attending the Navasota Artist in Residency with two other artists until early February. We have a gallery space at the Horlock House Gallery in Navasota, Texas located at 1215 E Washington Ave, Navasota, TX. There will be an open house on January 26 from 2-4 with live music and refreshments where visitors can see what we have created during the duration of the residency. Some of the artwork will be for sale. We are also generally open from 9am – 6pm Wednesday through Sunday.

My work can also be viewed on my website or at my Instagram.

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