Jane Fulton Alt
Jane Fulton Alt (born May 26, 1951) is an American photographer who explores issues of love, loss, and spirituality in her work. Alt was the recipient of the 2007 Illinois Art Council Fellowship Award and the 2007, 2008 and 2009 Ragdale Fellowship Award.
Jane Fulton Alt was born in Chicago in 1951 and has been active in the arts much of her lifetime. She grew up with parents who were avid collectors and began actively exploring the visual arts while raising her own family. She studied at the Evanston Art Center, Columbia College, and the Art Institute of Chicago.
Body of Work
Living on the shores of Lake Michigan, Alt was acutely aware of the disastrous toll the BP oil spill would take on all forms of life, especially as beaches opened to the 2010 swimming season. Inspired by the catastrophe, her resulting photographic series, Crude Awakening, featured powerful portraits of beach-goers drenched in an oil-like substance. The politically charged work received worldwide attention and circulated all over the Internet, appearing on the websites of NBC Chicago, The Chicago Tribune, The Jerusalem Post, Beijing News, El Nuevo Dia, Repubblica, Discovery's TreeHugger and others.
Jane Fulton Alt is also a clinical social worker who has been in practice since the 1970s. She bridged her professions in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina when she accompanied residents of the Lower Ninth Ward to examine the damage to their houses as part of the “Look and Leave” program organized by the City of New Orleans and the American Red Cross. Her exhibition at the DePaul University Art Museum entitled “Look and Leave: New Orleans in the Wake of Katrina” was recognized as one of the Top 5 Photography Museum Shows in Chicago in 2006. Her work is published in the books Katrina Exposed and New Orleans: The Making of an Urban Landscape (3rd ed), and also in American Tragedy: New Orleans Under Water (Callaloo 30, no 3, Summer 2007).
Alt's Katrina work culminated with the publication of her own book, Look and Leave: Photographs and Stories from New Orleans's Lower Ninth Ward,  in 2009. The book received critical acclaim and was featured on 89.9 WWNO, NPR's New Orleans affiliate, and Chicago Tonight's "Arts Across Illinois" segment.
Her Katrina work has also been featured on NPR's Chicago station.
Images of Mexico
Annually since 1996, Alt has accompanied Frontera Grill/Topolobampo Restaurant staff to Mexico. Her photographs, part of her “Images of Mexico” series, are exhibited in the restaurant, which was awarded Best Restaurant of 2007 in the United States by the James Beard Foundation.
Alt has exhibited extensively both nationally and internationally including solo exhibitions in Chicago (Chicago Cultural Center, Artemisia Gallery, Flatfile Gallery, Fourth Presbyterian Church, Depaul University Art Museum, Frontera Grill/Topolobampo Restaurant, Morton College, Art Chicago), San Francisco (Corden/Potts Gallery), Poland (International Festival of Photography) and Syria (International Photography Festival).
- Alt, Jane Fulton. "Look and Leave: Photographs and Stories from New Orleans's Lower Ninth Ward." UGA Press, 2009. ISBN 978-1-930066-90-8.
- Asensi, Matilde, The Last Cato: A Novel. Rayo, 2006. ISBN 978-0-06-082857-8. Alt's photo is featured on the cover of the book.
- Boyd, Terry, City 2000. 1st Ed. 3 Book Publishing, Distributed by University of Illinois Press, 2006. ISBN 978-0-252-03177-9. Alt is one of 39 photographers whose works are shown.
- Maklansky, Steven, ed. Katrina Exposed: A Photographic Reckoning. New Orleans Museum of Art, 2006: Exhibition Catalogue. ISBN 0-89494-102-X.
- McEwan, Ian, First Love, Last Rites. New Ed Edition Vintage, 2006. ISBN 978-0-09-975481-7 (paper). Alt's photo is featured on the cover of the 2006 paper edition.
Alt's work can be found in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian Photographic History Collection at the National Museum of American History, the Southeast Museum of Photography in Daytona, Florida, the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, the New Orleans Museum of Art, Yale University Beinecke Library, DePaul University Art Museum, Centro Fotografico Alvarez Bravo in Oaxaca, Mexico, the Dancing Bear collection of William Hunt and the Midwest Print Project of the Museum of Contemporary Photography.
- Illinois Arts Council FY07 Artists Fellowship Award Recipients
- New City Best of 2007
- New Orleans: The Making of an Urban Landscape
- Chicago Public Radio
- Chicago Tribune, Fourth Presbyterian Church Exhibition
- Poland International Festival of Photography
- SPOT, Houston Center for Photography Magazine
- Black and White Magazine
- Official Jane Fulton Alt Website
- Jane Fulton Alt's Blog
- Crude Awakening Video (YouTube)
- Look and Leave: New Orleans In the Wake of Katrina (YouTube)
- WWNO Radio Interview
- Arts Across Illinois WTTW