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Photographer Jessie Chaney Abate Captures Aspen's Intricacies Through Her Lens

By Meredith Diers | October 2, 2020 | Lifestyle

Jessie Chaney Abate, a local Aspen photographer, is making her mark on the art world with her spiritual images and keen eye for the beauty that surrounds us.

Aspen27-0001.jpg“Love Tree” captured in 2018

Through the display of her spiritual photography captured around the world, Jessie Chaney Abate (@jessiechaney) motivates patrons to be more mindful and present. Chaney Abate has been an artist her whole life. Originally drawn to photography at a young age because of “the magic that happens in the darkroom while developing your own work,” she says, the photographer has successfully made a career out of capturing energy within a frame.

Not only has Chaney Abate pursued art as a hobby, but she has also earned a bachelor’s degree in fine arts and art history from Brown University and her master’s in photography while studying in London. Her art education is extensive, but she has been most educated and influenced by her travels.

Aspen31.jpg"Golden Hour” from 2019

After spending time at the abandoned Maharishi Mahesh Yogi ashram in Rishikesh, India, Chaney Abate began her exploration of energy and light. Famous for The Beatles visit in the late 1960s and later for the hit songs the band wrote about their time there, the ashram is now run-down, and the buildings are being retaken by the surrounding forest. This is where she was inspired to pursue her now ongoing series Memory of a Space.

Aspen9.jpg“Soaring Above” photographed in Snowmass in 2019

IMG3634.jpgChaney Abate photographed “Abandoned Chapel” in 2018.

The body of work captures the relationship between absence and presence in long-forgotten places where hope and energy still resonate. Chaney Abate questions the nature of energy that is everlasting throughout the passage of time and explores the once unnoticed beauty and hope among the decay.

IMG2620.jpgAspen through Jessie Chaney Abate’s lens

Chaney Abate's most recent project, Spirit in the Sky, was recently shown at the Affordable Art Fair in London. This body of work is also scheduled to be shown in Milan at the Mia Photo Fair, which has been rescheduled for September. The work features unique moments— each with the presence of energy or spirit. The natural vistas are displayed as circles (shown on the previous spread), representing the circle of life, as well as a porthole to view these past moments in time.

The majority of Chaney Abate’s work features nature scenes and places around the western U.S., and all of her photographs are taken in natural light. Without post-development or production manipulation of her images, Chaney Abate works to organically see a moment in time. She describes her process and final products as “how you frame your image within time and light. What you see is what you get.”

Chaney Abate has a studio at the Red Brick Center for the Arts. It is always open for visitors and hosts an array of her work.

Photography by: Jessie Chaney Abate