Jessica Hays is an artist and curator from Bozeman, Montana. Her work focuses on human relationship, issues of mental health, loneliness, trauma, loss, and places of healing. She works in a variety of processes, including historic and alternative photo processes, experimental darkroom techniques, pigment printing, and handmade artist books. Hays has bachelor’s degrees in Photography and Environmental Studies with a minor in Psychology from Montana State University. Her work gas been shown both regionally and nationally, included un multiple publications, and Hays has presented at conferences and events dealing with issues in art and mental health. To see more of her work, visit

Loneliness, the kind of alone that happens to us, and solitude, the kind that we choose, are so closely interconnected that it is often hard to tell the difference. When I am driving down the highway, six days into a solo road trip, I never know if I am enjoying solitude or feeling a twinge of loneliness. I think it is like this for most of us, that it is always a little bit of both, like missing home while you are away, but feeling restless once you get there. Empty Memories is an exploration of those moments spent alone, either by choice or circumstance, and how those experiences serve purpose in our lives and shape our perceptions of place and time.