Dean Kessmann

photo of dean kessmann
Program Head, Studio Arts; Associate Professor of Photography
Room #208, Smith Hall of Art


Professor Kessmann has had one-person exhibitions at Furthermore, Washington, DC, Orlando Museum of Art, Orlando, FL, William Shearburn Gallery, St. Louis, MO, Humanity Center Galleries, California State University, Chico, CA, White Flag Projects, St. Louis, MO, and the Miller Gallery, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA. His work has been shown in two and three-person exhibitions at Duet, St. Louis, MO, School 33 Art Center, Baltimore, MD, and 1708 Gallery, Richmond, VA. Additionally, he has been included in group exhibitions at Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick, ME, American University Museum, Washington, DC, MASS MoCA, North Adams, MA, Cerasoli Gallery, Los Angeles, CA, Museum of Contemporary Religious Art, St. Louis, MO, The Photographic Resource Center, Boston, MA, and Project Row Houses, Houston, TX, among others.

Professor Kessmann’s exhibitions have been reviewed in a variety of publications, including Art Papers, The Huffington Post, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and ARTFORUM magazine. He has received a Franz and Virginia Bader Fund Grant and numerous Artist Fellowship and Art Bank grants from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. He has been a semi-finalist for the Sondheim Prize and has won awards from The Trawick Prize. In 2009 he was an artist-in-residence at Light Work in Syracuse, NY. Additionally, many important institutions have collected his work, such as the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Baltimore Museum of Art, Walker Art Center, The Phillips Collection, Museum of Contemporary Photography, Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Orlando Museum of Art, Light Work, and Museum of Contemporary Religious Art.

Professor Kessmann teaches at the undergraduate and graduate levels.


Recent Exhibitions

  • "Reflect: Photography Looking Forward, Looking Back", Brady Art Gallery, Washington, DC
  • "VEIWFIND", Page Bond Gallery, Richmond, VA
  • "Art and Resolution: 1900 to Today", Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick, ME
  • "Robin Assner-Alvey (St. Louis) and Dean Kessmann (Washington, DC)", Duet, St. Louis, MO
  • "Black/White", William Shearburn Gallery, St. Louis, MO
  • "Recent Acquisitions", The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC
  • "Art Now: New Directions in Contemporary Photography", Ann Arbor Art Center, Ann Arbor, MI "Utilitarian Abstraction", Arlington Arts Center, Arlington, VA



  • Franz and Virginia Bader Fund Grant, Franz and Virgin Bader Fund, Philadelphia, PA.
  • Arts and Humanities Fellowship, DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, Washington, DC.
  • Art Bank Program Grant, DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, Washington, DC.
  • University Facilitating Fund Award, The George Washington University, Washington, DC



BLS, Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville
MFA, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale