JON KOLKIN (American b. 1951-)



For over thirty years, Jon Kolkin has been working tandem in the art of science and the art of photography. His interest in photography began at an early age while “experimenting” in his father’s dark room. Later, it became apparent that music was the perfect combination of science and art as Jon’s passion for the clarinet awarded him a position in the National Youth Symphony. He gained National recognition and was invited to tour with the group in Europe. These combined passions led to the decision to attend Emory University where Jon majored in chemistry, with a minor in art. He later received a medical degree and has been a practicing hand surgeon for over twenty eight years. He has managed to combine his medical career with his love for photography, traveling around the world as a medical volunteer and pursuing photography projects at the same time. 


Jon now devotes himself to working full-time as a professional Fine Art photographer when in the United States and teaching medicine to other physicians in underserved countries when traveling around the world.

 Each of Jon’s bodies of work tends to focus on social topics that invite dialogue, understanding and mutual respect between people with different points of view.  He is a frequent lecturer on topics such as “Maintaining relevance within our lives” and “Finding a healthy balance between our professional and personal lives’”.  

His captivating images have won numerous awards and have drawn the attention of private and corporate collectors worldwide. Jon’s artwork has also been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions around the country and in many prominent photography magazines.  He is a founding artist of the Maine Museum of Photographic Arts.


Many of Jon’s bodies of work tend to focus on social topics that invite dialogue, understanding and mutual respect between people with different points of view.  Most currently he has embraced Buddhist Monks in Bhutan and China. The first series on this subject was called “Seeking Wisdom”, a project he started after spending 6 weeks in the only Buddhist Kingdom in the world, Bhutan, situated high in the Himalayan Mountains. Following this thread and the incredible relationship he developed with the people of Bhutan, the “Inner Harmony” series was conceived while Jon was working in a small, (by Chinese standards) frenetic, Chinese city of 8 million called Wenzhou. When Jon originally scheduled his trip to Wenzhou, he was planning to photograph Buddhist monks for the first series, “Seeking Wisdom”, but after seeing that the temple was actually Buddhist Nuns, he decided to create a whole other series that complemented his prior efforts.



"It is my impression that many people navigate through life in overdrive.  They are perpetually in “catch-up” mode, losing sight of their core values and priorities with little time devoted to self-reflection. It is my hope that my art will serve as a vehicle, which invites the viewer to step back, take a deep breath, and reconnect with himself or herself.  Each series is intended to open a dialogue about issues that I feel are integral to the process of living life, eyes open.  It is my hope that people will find my art, and its underlying messages, useful as they seek purpose, wellbeing, and fulfillment in their lives."


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