Tonia Hughes is an exhibiting artists with Pinky Bass.
Artists Statement on Reciprocity
I recently began researching the Three Fates: The Maiden, The Mother, and The Crone in response to my mom becoming ill. I hoped to find a way to express the thread that binds women, not just between mother and daughter, but also between sisters, friends, and in the case of Pinky/MM Bass and myself – mentor and (dare I say…) protégé. I wanted to create a collaborative body of work between three women that would demonstrate this bond as a thread of inspiration expressed in our art. A woman at the beginning stage of her career would metaphorically represent The Maiden. As a mid-career artist, I would stand in as the metaphorical mother. And Pinky/MM Bass would metaphorically represent the wise crone guiding us all as an established artist. Pinky generously agreed to participate, and we have held exciting collaborative critiques through Zoom throughout this interesting year. These pieces represent some of the works created from this conceptual thread, these works have come from an experience of reciprocity.
Tonia Hughes is a socio-politically driven visual artist working in the influential mediums of photography, mixed media, video, and installation. Her work has been shown in international, national, and regional calls for work and exhibitions such as: Harvest Works Digital Media Art Gallery (New York, New York), Wiregrass Museum of Art (Dothan, Alabama), Murmur Gallery at Eyedrum (Atlanta, Georgia), The Bedford Gallery (Walnut Creek, California), Project Gallery (Long Island, New York), Open House Gallery (Kansas City, Missouri), and Woman Made Gallery (Chicago, Illinois). The majority of her work is rooted in political, feminist, and queer theory discourse, and explores a broad range of topics and academic research.
Hughes was born in Raleigh, North Carolina and grew up in the southeastern region of the United States. She graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science degree from Columbus State University in 2004. In 2008, she completed her MFA in photography and video at Georgia State University, and in 2016 she earned a graduate certificate in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from Georgia State University.
Hughes has been the honored recipient of the 2018 College Scholar award at Johnson County Community College, and in 2018 she was one of the 15 artists selected on a biannual basis for the Kansas City Collection. Other teaching, research, and scholarship awards include: Faculty Development Grants from Georgia Southwestern University in 2014 and 2015, the Gold Award from The Dalton Gallery at Agnes Scott College in 2014, and the Ernest Welch Graduate Photography Scholarship in 2006.
Hughes taught Photography, Digital Arts, and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies as a Senior Lecturer at Georgia Southwestern State University from 2009 – 2016. In 2016, she accepted a position at Johnson County Community College (JCCC) and is currently an Associate Professor of Art in the Fine Arts, Photo, and Filmmaking department, and the founder of the Filmmaking program. Her service to the college includes: Co-chair of Fine Arts, Photo, and Filmmaking, Program Director of the Photography and Filmmaking Department, Co-chair of the Academic Branch Council, and Co-chair of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Taskforce.
In addition to her creative work, Hughes continues her research in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. As an extension of her teaching, she has been the Director of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Georgia Southwestern State University. Hughes has also presented on public discussion panels and at academic conferences on topics relating to the Queer community and human rights such as: Doing the body in the 21st Century at The University of Pittsburg (Pittsburg, Pennsylvania), and The 23rd Annual Research Symposium “Feminist Research Across Disciplines” at The University of Georgia (Athens, Georgia). And her Homogenized series has been exhibited at at Women’s, Sexuality, and Gender Studies conferences in addition to Fine Art galleries.
© Tonia Hughes