CONTACT: electronic mail
jessemlyy (at) gmail (dot) com
please get in touch for commissions, collaborations, print sales or just to say hi!

Spelled Ly // Pronounced Lee


Jesse Ly is an Asian-American photographic and image-based artist. They hold a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts with a minor in Art History and a certificate in Critical Visions from the University of Cincinnati’s college of DAAP. They currently are the Graphic Design and Photography Media Facilities Coordinator for Art & Design at the University of Dayton.

Ly is a visual artist who primarily uses a photographic approach that incorporates processes of sculpture, installation, bookmaking, and writing to inform and expand imagery. Their work explores identity through representation and dissemination in photographs via considering their liminal qualities of existence. This examines how photographic depictions may incite differentiation in presence and portrayal through representation versus actuality.

These concepts surface in formats of self-analyzation, fixating on how Ly, those they have immediate discursive relationships with, their inhabited spaces, and objects of interaction exists through imagery. By utilizing these depicting objects, a further dialog of the relationships of image-making, existence, and conceptual formulation is apprehended. By then intervening and examining the indexical structure of these photographs, a visual inquiry of physical, ethereal and psychological spaces become re-contextualized through the perception and depiction of the liminal spaces, futility, and notions imagery creates.

They have exhibited work both nationally across the United States and internationally. A selection of solo and two person exhibitions include Image Interference at Basketshop Gallery - Cincinnati, OH, Support Systems  at SHAG (Stone House Art Gallery) Charlotte, NC and I witness, I Observe, I am not, I am. at Capsule Gallery - Dayton, OH. Notable group exhibitions include Wild Frictions The Politics and Poetics of Interruption at The Contemporary Arts Center Cincinnati, FotoFocus - Auto//Update at the Carnegie - Covington, KY, About Future at Millepiani - Rome, Italy. They are a recipient of the MCACD & Culture Works Artist Opportunity Grant,  the Individual Excellence Award from the Ohio Arts Council, as well as the Dayton Regional Artist Renewal Grant via the National Endowment for the Arts.

Ly has also worked collaboratively as a member of Hot Take Press, producing publications to expand the possibilities of exhibition through print with other artists at institutions including: The Carnegie (Covington, KY), The George Eastman Museum (Rochester, NY), Beeler Gallery at CCAD (Columbus, OH) the Geffen at MOCA (Los Angeles, CA) Denny Dimin Gallery (New York, NY) and Printed Matter (New York, NY - Brooklyn & Chelsea)

2020 - University of Cincinnati, College of Design, Architecture, Art & Planning
Bachelors in Fine Arts, minor in Art History, & certificate in Critical Visions
Magna Cum Laude

Solo* Two** & Three*** Person Exhibitions

Support Systems  - SHAG (Stone House Art Gallery) Charlotte, NC**
w/ Aubrey Theobald

I witness, I Observe, I am not, I am. - Capsule Gallery - Dayton, OH *

In Regards to Nostalgia - 
Ruth G. Pearlman Gallery at Art Acadamey of Cincinnati- Cincinnati, OH ***
w/ Aubrey Theobald & Mark Albain

Image Interference. - Basketshop Gallery - Cincinnati, OH *

Dear, Sincerely, - Aviary Gallery - Jamaica Plain, MA *

Not A Real Person. - The 840 Gallery - Cincinnati, OH*

Select Group Exhibitions

Alternatives Biennial: Image as Object - Ohio University Art Gallery - Athens, OH

Goodbye Summer - Float Photo Magazine

Photography & Tenderness - Wave Pool Art Center - Cincinnati, OH

Home Ave Fund - Absorb Gallery - Dayton, OH

A&D22 - Radial Gallery at University of Dayton - Dayton, OH

Hibernacula (w/Floodcraft) - EDU gallery - Dayton, OH

On Belonging - Third Space Gallery - Cincinnati, OH

Hold-Release - Artfare

Fill Your Cup - Too Tired Project

Safe Travels - Study Hall Gallery at PrattMWP College of Art and Design - Utica, NY

Notions of Home - Lucie Foundation

a labor of love - Soft Lighting Studios

Lions, Tigers, and Sustainability, OH MY - The Red Door Project - Cincinnati, OH

Wild Frictions The Politics and Poetics of Interruption - Contemporary Arts Center - Cincinnati, OH

winter 2021 open call - Esperanza Project Space

The 2020 Favorite Photo Exhibition - Lenscratch

Janus - Darkside Collective

Full House - Localhost Gallery

DAAPworks 2020 - Cincinnati, OH

Liminal - Cumulus Photo

20Emerging - Gallery Q at the Out Alliance – Rochester, NY

An Art Book Affair (w/ Hot Take Press) - Beeler Gallery - Columbus, OH

Make Me Love You In 10 Jpgs Or Less - Skylab Gallery - Columbus, OH

Home-Body - Tabula Rasa Gallery - Cincinnati, OH

Fresh Looks 2020 - Eastern Michigan University Galleries - Ypsilanti, MI

Cincinnati Art Book Fair 2019 (w/ Hot Take Press) - The Carnegie – Covington, KY

¯_(ツ)_/¯- The Waiting Room Gallery – Cincinnati, OH

The 2019 Dog Exhibition - Lenscratch

About Future - Millepiani - Rome, Italy

An Unclear View - Indie Grits Labs - Colombia, SC

FotoFocus Auto//Update - The Carnegie - Covington, KY.

AD 2019: Cincinnati Edition - Anytime Department - Cincinnati, OH

The Pivotal ImageCumulus Photo

hYbRiD iNtErFeReNcE -  XTUD1O at The Warehouse Studios. - Cincinnati, OH

Printed Matter L.A. Art Book FairThe Geffen at MOCA, (w/ Hot Take Press) - Los Angeles, CA

Re-Definition - The 840 Gallery-  Cincinnati, OH 2018

Cincinnati Art Book Fair (w/ Hot Take Press) - The Carnegie - Covington, KY.

Power Moves - Victory Parkway Galleries - Cincinnati, OH

Objectif Obscura - The 840 Gallery - Cincinnati, OH

Taking Stock - The 840 Gallery - Cincinnati, OH

Sights & Sounds II - Glendora House - Cincinnati, OH

Not Porn - The 840 Gallery - Cincinnati, OH

Urban Tapestry - 1628LTD - Cincinnati, OH

Sights & Sounds - Glendora House - Cincinnati, OH

Rocky’s Reels Video Art Show - DAAP Galleries - Cincinnati, OH

International Sculpture Day Art Show - Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park - Hamilton, OH

At Capacity Art Show - The 840 Gallery - Cincinnati, OH

Awards & Activities

Individual Excellence Award - Ohio Arts Council

Dayton Region Arts Renewal Grant - National Endowment for the Arts & Culture Works

Artist Opportunity GrantMontgomery Country Arts and Culture District & Culture Works

Nikon Storytellers Scholarship Semifinalist

Franklin Palmer & Marjorie Stewart Palmer Scholarship -  University of Cincinnati

Select Publications/Bibliography

Wave Pool Art Center - Photography & Tenderness catalog - Cincinnati, OH.

The Third Rail Quarterly Issue 14

a labor of love - Soft Lighting Studios

Potluck: Identity As. A CVSN Anthology – Cincinnati, OH.

Dear, Sincerely, - Edition of 30, Inkjet and Laser Print (Independent, published w./Hot Take Press) – Cincinnati, OH.

Now What? Thoughts On Photography – Lenscratch

A Matter of Being – Quiet Pages Press – Philadelphia, PA.

Archive As Action, Exhibition catalogue for Contemporary Arts Center (w./ Hot Take Press) - Cincinnati, OH

W.A.R. - (w./ Hot Take Press) Book & Poster edition, Carmen Winant - CAVE - Detroit, MI

Dear Jeff, - (w./ Hot Take Press), Nate Larson & Marni Shindelman - George Eastman Museum - Rochester, NY

Let’s Get Weird Volume 2. - PZA Club - Cincinnati, OH

Disconnect - edition of 50, risograph print (Independent, published w./ Hot Take Press) - Cincinnati, OH

Intersection of Spaces by Hannah Brown - edition of 10, archival inkjet printed (w/ Hot Take Press) - Cincinnati, OH

Bad Conez by Aubrey Theobald - edition of 40, risograph print (w./ Hot Take Press) - Cincinnati, OH

Year/Book - Hot Take Press - Cincinnati, OH


2022 - Dayton Region Arts Renewal Grant - National Endowment for the Arts & Culture Works
Fotofocus - Photography & Tenderness - Wave Pool Art Center
Cincinnati People - On Belonging - Third Space Gallery
Artswave - On Belonging - Third Space Gallery
Fox19 - On Belonging - Third Space Gallery
WKRC Local12 - On Belonging - Third Space Gallery

ilikethis art - In Regards to Nostalgia - Ruth. G Pearlman Gallery @ Art Academy Cincinnati
Undermain - In Regards to Nostalgia - Ruth. G Pearlman Gallery @ Art Academy Cincinnati
Art Forum - Wild Frictions - Contemporary Arts Center Cincinnati
e-flux - Wild Frictions - - Contemporary Arts Center Cincinnati

2020 - II - Basketshop Gallery
Artswave - II- Basketshop Gallery
Basketshop Gallery - FotoFocus - II
FotoFocus - Light &

FotoFocus - Auto//Update
Printed Matter - LA Art Book Fair

Professional Experience 

2021 - Present
Graphic Design & Photography Media Facilities Coordinator - University of Dayton

2018- Present
Hot Take Press Design & Production Crew <3

Visiting Artist Critiquer - Senior Pathways - Art Academy of Cincinnati

Studio Photographer - Cowans/Hindman Auctions

Studio & Teaching Assistant - Laura Letinsky - University of Chicago

Photo & Print Lab Technician - University of Cincinnati DAAP