Tonia Hughes’ photography and video installations have been exhibited nationally and regionally. Although much of her work is rooted in socio-political discourse, her most recent solo exhibition, Tonia Hughes: Recent Works, represents a new direction for her work. This body of work includes sound bites, videos, photographs, mixed media pieces, and collections of found objects, and is an expression of Hughes’ personal experiences. The gallery is divided into two sections. The first section holds a collection of work entitled Indulging in Ashes that is intended to pose questions regarding life, death, and the connection between the two. While the second segment of the gallery displays a body of work collectively entitled The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters. This body of work is Hughes’ most recent exploration and includes lithographs printed on handmade paper embedded with the artist’s hair and finger nails and is intended to reflect on the suffering of victims of domestic violence. The exhibition was shown in coordination with Atlanta Celebrates Photography at the Rankin Photography Center in Columbus, Georgia.
In addition to her creations in visual arts, Hughes continues her research in Women’s Studies, specifically on the topics of gender and sexuality. This research serves as a foundation for the visual art she more typically creates. As an extension of her work, she often lectures for the Women’s Studies program at Georgia Southwestern State University and participates in discussion panels with the Psychology/Sociology Department at GSW on topics relating to the queer community.
Hughes was born in Raleigh, North Carolina. She grew up in the southeastern region of the United States, and graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science degree from Columbus State University in 2004. In 2008, she completed her MFA in photography at Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia. She has been teaching Photography and Digital Media as a full-time Lecturer at Georgia Southwestern State University since January 2009. She currently resides in Americus, Georgia.