CCAD announces Alumni Award winner

After months of voting and deliberation it is time to announce this year's Alumni Award for Excellence winner: Chad Hunt (CCAD 1994).

The Photography alumnus will be honored during CCAD’s Alumni & Family Weekend, taking place Oct. 4–5, and during that time will have an exhibition on campus of his current work.

“Honestly I was very flattered to be nominated,” Hunt said. “CCAD has produced some amazingly talented artists, and I am humbled that my name is in people's minds.”

Hunt’s photography has taken him around the world, including trips with U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan and work with the Worldwide Orphan Foundation in Haiti.

Hunt has traveled to Afghanistan multiple times in the past couple years as an embedded photographer with the U.S. military. In 2008, his photograph of Sergeant Major David Combs at the Korengal Outpost in Afghanistan made the cover of TIME magazine.

“Chad’s images have expanded our world and our understanding of it, or, perhaps more accurately, reminded us of who fights our wars and at what cost,” said Ric Petry, CCAD’s director of graduate studies, who nominated Hunt for the award. “His exceptional drive to embed himself with the U.S. military puts him in harm’s way, and he documents this experience with art of a savage beauty that testifies to both the vision and compassion of CCAD’s finest alumni.”

Following his trips to Afghanistan, Hunt continued to work with military forces, including a project at the Yakima Firing Center in Washington where he spent a week training with a U.S. Special Operations Command team. Some of the resulting photography was featured in an issue of Popular Mechanics.

Hunt brought his talent to Haiti last year where he worked with the Worldwide Orphan Foundation. His pro bono work captured portraits of Haitian orphans for the foundation’s archives.

Actor Andrew Garfield traveled with him, and some of those images were featured in InStyle magazine.

After a busy few years, Hunt is glad for the chance to return to Columbus and the CCAD campus. He is always excited and curious to see what has changed and expanded.

“The professors at CCAD have always treated me like family,” Hunt said. “When I walk into the photo lab and see Duncan [Snyder] or Hiroshi [Hayakawa] it feels more like a homecoming than a school visit. I've kept in touch with them over the years, and I consider them all to be friends.”

Announcing this year’s winner always gets us thinking about past AAE winners, so we decided to check in with them to see what they have been up to, read more here.