American Stills by Tema Stauffer

Tema Stauffer

Tema Stauffer is a photographer based in Brooklyn whose work has been exhibited at Jen Bekman Gallery and Daniel Cooney Fine Art Gallery in New York, as well as galleries and institutions nationally and internationally. Her work was included in a survey of Contemporary U.S. Photography at the Houston Fotofest 2010 Biennial. She teaches at The School at the International Center of Photography and William Paterson University, and she co-taught a photography workshop at Toxico Cultura in Mexico City. She is also currently a curator and writer for Culturehall, an online resource for contemporary art, and she was awarded an AOL 25 for 25 Grant for innovation in the arts in 2010.


Tema graduated from Oberlin College in 1995 and received a Master’s Degree in Photography from The University of Illinois at Chicago in 1998. She received CAAP grants for projects in 1999 and 2000 and contributed a series of photographs shot on ride-alongs with police officers to the CITY2000, an archive of photographs examining the city of Chicago in the year 2000. A large body of her work was exhibited through The Minnesota Center for Photography at The Katherine E. Nash Gallery and in a solo exhibition at The Rochester Art Center in 2004. She was a finalist for the McKnight Photography Fellowship in 2005 and was nominated for the KLM Paul Huf Award in 2008.

She has participated in seven group shows at Jen Bekman Gallery and her solo show, American Stills, opened in October 2004. Fifteen images from this body of work were selected by The Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College in Chicago for the Midwest Photographers Project. Her series, The Ballad of Sad Young Men, was exhibited in a two-person show with work by Francesca Romeo at Daniel Cooney Fine Art Gallery in 2009.

Her work also has been exhibited at The Chicago Cultural Center, The Terra Museum of American Art, The Musee Departmental d’ Art Contemporain de Rouchechourt, The Hyde Park Art Center, The Detroit Contemporary, The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, The 3rd Ward Brooklyn, Tyler School of Art, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Adrian College Gallery, Central Lakes College Gallery, The Joymore Gallery, The Butcher Shop Gallery, The Gallery 400, The Icebox Gallery, Heaven Gallery, David Allen Gallery, Jon Oulman Gallery, The Lyceum Theatre Gallery, Dean Jenson Gallery, Moti Hasson Gallery, Randall Scott Gallery, Sasha Wolf Gallery, and Flanders Gallery.

Tema has shot for The Chicago Reader, The City Pages, The Rake Magazine, Lavender Magazine, The Village Voice, and W Magazine. She has contributed to online publications including Ausgang, A Field Guide to the North American Family, and Humble Arts Foundation’s Group Show. Her work was published in the Fotofest 2010 Contemporary U.S. Photography Catalogue along with a curatorial essay, Whatever Was Splendid: New American Photographs, by Aaron Schuman.

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