Jack Alterman is part of a distinguished tradition of artists who have made transcendent images of Charleston, South Carolina. He is an alumnus of Brooks Institute of Photography, Santa Barbara, California and a Marine Corps Veteran. He opened his studio in his hometown of Charleston in 1979.
Alterman is inspired by the city's blend of old and new and the diversitty of her people. From river to river, from the Battery to the Neck, he makes the familiar unique and the unique familiar remaining focused on the architecture and the people of his city.
Jack received the 2022 Governor’s Award in the Humanities that recognized his outstanding achievements in photography that have helped bring people together to better understand South Carolina's diverse heritage.
'Who Among Us’ Was a 2002 portrait exhibit to benefit the Crisis Ministries of Charleston and raise awareness for how indiscriminate the effects of homelessness can be on people from all backgrounds.
‘The Bridge Builders’ At the completion of the Author Ravenel Bridge, in 2005, Alterman made studio portraits of the men and women who participated in its construction. Many of the workers came from different parts of the United States and some from other countries to work on this five year project. The exhibition was held at Alterman’s studio with the builders and their families attending the opening reception
'Eastsiders Matter' was a 2015 expansive public portrait exhibit displayed along a 150 foot fence on Charleston’s Eastside. It remained on view for several months and put a face on the residents of this historic and rapidly changing African American community. This was the topic of Jack's 2016 Tedx Talk.
'King Street, The 500 Block' In 2017, Jack created a sidewalk portrait gallery of the merchants transitioning in and out of this once locally owned business district. The photographs were displayed in the windows of vacant storefronts.
He has published three books of his images. Cornices of Charleston, My Lazy Eye, and My City Charleston.