Allison Hunter

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Allison Hunter is an international visual artist who over the past twenty years has worked in photography, performance, video, painting, drawing, and installation. Hunter earned her first MFA at the Cantonal Art School of Lausanne, Switzerland (1990), and her second MFA at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York (1997). Hunter participated in international video and sculpture art residencies at institutions such as the Banff Centre for the Arts in Calgary, Canada and the Hermit Center for Metamedia in Plasy, Czech Republic. Hunter's installation project, titled SIGNMAKERS (1998-2003), was commissioned by three European sculpture centers in Lithuania, Latvia, and Finland, and by the 2003 Kingston Sculpture Biennial in New York. Hunter's digitally manipulated industrial photographs are collected by three museums in New York (University Art Museum at SUNY, Albany Institute of History and Art, Center for Photography at Woodstock). Her current photographs have been included in numerous exhibitions in the U.S. and Europe, and collected by The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Untitled #7 is featured in Light and Lens: Photography in the Digital Age by Robert Hirsch (Focal Press, 2007). In addition to practicing art, Hunter has participated in the art community as an educator, writer, and art administrator. She taught computer art at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and at the University at Albany (SUNY). She has written and edited texts on visual art and design for national publications such as HOW and Sculpture. Hunter was Executive Director for the Houston Center for Photography (2005-06), Artistic Director for De Santos Gallery (2004), and Curatorial Assistant at the Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery (2001). She lives in Houston, Texas. Statement Hunter's artwork stems from an interest in examining cultural attitudes seen through the backdrop of man-made environments. Over the past six years, Hunter has focused on animals in zoos in North America, using cameras on-site. She scans the image and digitally edits out the cultural trappings that surround the animals. For example, in Untitled #5, 2005, Hunter depicts a lone giraffe centered in a black void staring straight ahead with a barely perceptible smile on its face. More recent images such as Untitled (elephants 2), 2007, reveal a new direction: a larger format to dramatize the power of these animals. This is intended to put the viewer in a diminished position - literally and figuratively. She also includes animals of different species within the same composition in newer work such as Untitled (zebu and others), 2008. This formal decision to combine multiple species amplifies the unnatural context of the zoo environment where species are separated.