Tema Stauffer is a photographer whose work examines the social, economic, and psychological landscape of American spaces. Her work has been exhibited in galleries and institutions internationally. Stauffer graduated from Oberlin College in 1995 and received a Master’s Degree in Photography from The University of Illinois at Chicago in 1998. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Photography at Concordia University in Montreal.
She was chosen as a finalist for the Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition 2013, her work was included in the competition exhibition at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery from March 2013 through February 2014, and she was the recipient of the 2012 Women in Photography – LTI/Lightside Individual Project Grant and a 2014 CCNY Work Space Residency for her documentary portrait series, Paterson, depicting residents of Paterson, New Jersey during the years following the economic crisis in 2008. She was awarded an AOL 25 for 25 Grant for innovation in the arts in 2010, she was a finalist for the McKnight Photography Fellowship in 2005, and was nominated for the KLM Paul Huf Award in 2008. 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. She has given artist lectures at School of Visual Arts and Concordia University, among many other colleges and universities throughout North America.
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. Fifteen images from her series American Stills were selected by The Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College in Chicago for the Midwest Photographers Project. She exhibited her series, The Ballad of Sad Young Men, along with work by Francesca Romeo at Daniel Cooney Fine Art Gallery in 2009. Her work also has been exhibited at the LiShui Photography Festival and the LiShui Museum of Photography, 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, and Flanders Gallery.
Stauffer’s work has been in The New York Times, 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, Garth Risk Hallberg’s A Field Guide to the North American Family, Humble Arts Foundation’s Group Show, and FlakPhoto’s Making Pictures of People: Recent Perspectives on Photographic Portraiture and Looking at the Land: 21st Century American Views. Her work has been published in Nymphoto Books: Conversation Volume 1 and Fotofest 2010 Contemporary U.S. Photography with a curatorial essay by Aaron Schuman.