John Hess is a scientist combining knowledge of biology with the aesthetic of an artist. In his book that is a naturalist. He began accumulating his knowledge base within a PhD in Zoology from Colorado State University, and taught evolutionary biology, ornithology and other courses including photography, for more than 30 years and is now Emeritus Professor of Biology at the University of Central Missouri. This broad background in science lies at the core of his approach to art.
His artistic leanings have been satisfied through photography in which he has been active for more than 40 years. During this wide-ranging exploration he has dipped his toe into most facets of photography and along the way has developed a level of expertise in most formats. Influenced by Edward Weston, Ansel Adams and Eliot Porter, his subjects are nearly always natural, but they range in scale from broad panoramas to microscopic subjects. -- wherever there is beauty to be enjoyed. With the advent of the digital revolution, and the development of technologies of permanence, Dr. Hess has shifted to this new and exciting arena.
He served as President of the Prairie Chapter of the Biological Photographic Association and is currently a juried member of "Best of Missouri Hands". Exhibiting frequently in the Art Center Gallery at the University of Central Missouri, he also mounted a solo show at the Erdman Gallery of Princeton Theological Seminary, at the Lawrence Arts Center in Kansas and in Boulder, Colorado.
John has also placed images in the "Missouri 50" and the Greater Midwest International. In 2006 he was awarded an Artist-in-Residence position at Rocky Mountain National Park and in 2007 at Mesa Verde. He has been a featured speaker at a number of venues including the Illinois Natural History Survey, the University of Colorado and at the University of Central Missouri, among others.
A book on the Galápagos Islands is currently under development.