Born and raised amidst the serene landscapes of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, AJ Nutter's journey into the realm of photography began with cherished expeditions alongside his father, igniting a passion that would shape his artistic trajectory from an early age.
AJ's pursuit of excellence led him to graduate with the prestigious 'Best Video Portfolio' Award from The Art Institute of Philadelphia, an achievement underscored by his receipt of the Art Institute Short Film Scholarship, a pivotal support in realizing his academic aspirations. Amidst his tenure in Philadelphia, AJ honed his craft through engagements with industry giants like Warner Brothers TV, Image Media, and The Center for Emerging Visual Artists.
His pursuit for creativity saw him further his studies at The Pennsylvania College of Art & Design in Lancaster, culminating in a Bachelor's degree in Fine Art Photography. Throughout this period, AJ collaborated with esteemed studios such as Nick Gould Studios and Toby Richard Studios, alongside enriching ventures with Assembly Films, traveling the nation to capture commercial photographic endeavors alongside Toby Richards.
In a nod to his creative spirit, AJ founded the artist collective "16 Pound Rabbit" around 2009, a venture that blossomed into the co-operation of The Painted Desert Gallery in Lancaster from 2009-2012. Notably, "16 Pound Rabbit" birthed innovative projects like "The Birds," an ambient album inspired by the enigmatic works of Alfred Hitchcock, later immortalized through a limited vinyl pressing.
Tragically, the passing of AJ's father in 2004 catalyzed a profound artistic response. In homage to his father's legacy, AJ curated a exhibition showcasing his father's final landscapes alongside the creative works of his partner, Carol Emerson. This emotive display not only served as a tribute but also inspired playwright Sandy Asher to craft the stirring stage play "Death Valley: A Love Story," subsequently adapted into an independent film of the same name.
In the state of economic turmoil, AJ embarked on an endeavor to illuminate the struggles of coal communities during the great recession, using his lens to shine a light their resilience. His documentary work garnered acclaim, gracing esteemed galleries like The Philadelphia Photo Arts Center as well as galleries in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles, earning accolades such as the prestigious Carolynn Fiedler-Alber award.
AJ's creative odyssey continued to evolve, as evidenced by his decent into podcasting with "The Bad Movie Night Podcast," a testament to his enduring love for cinematic exploration. This endeavor blossomed into BMN Films, a collaborative venture that birthed the sci-fi feature film "Transient," a testament to AJ's commitment to pushing filmmaking.
Undeterred by adversity, AJ's ingenuity thrived amidst the challenges of the COVID era, spearheading a musical project characterized by its haunting synth-pop allure. Collaborating with acclaimed music mixer Carl Bahner and partner Jude Yardsely, AJ ventured into the realm of animated music videos, channeling retro aesthetics into a contemporary art form.
In the summer of 2023, AJ embarked on a new podcasting venture, delving into the narratives of incarcerated women alongside Dr. Kathryn Whitley, fostering empathy and understanding in a landscape often overshadowed by sensationalism.
Today, AJ's spirit finds expression through his dual roles as an educator and innovator. Whether imparting wisdom at Lebanon Valley College or help shaping the Film Minor Program at Pennsylvania College of Art and Design, AJ remains dedicated to nurturing the next generation of visual storytellers.
Concurrently, his tenure at Milton Hershey School in Video Marketing underscores his commitment to fostering inclusive educational experiences, echoing the philanthropic ethos of its founders, Milton and Catherine Hershey.
Residing amidst the vibrant City of Harrisburg, AJ Nutter continues to weave his narrative through the art of imagery and the power of storytelling.