New Virtual Exhibition opening Friday, August 6

From Krishna Adams, Director of Visual Arts, Craft, Media and Design –

Eudora Welty’s Armchair, Jackson, MS, 2020

Tema Stauffer is an award-winning photographer based in Johnson City, TN. She specializes in capturing the social, economic, and cultural landscape of American spaces. Stauffer has traveled through Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi for the past three years, working on her recent project, Southern Fiction. It is an ongoing photographic journey highlighting buildings and landscapes related to historic southern writers, such as Flannery O’Connor, Alice Walker, William Faulkner, Eudora Welty, Tennessee Williams, Truman Capote, and Harper Lee. See the Tema Stauffer: Southern Fiction virtual exhibition here.

“Southern Fiction explores the history of the American South using its literary tradition as a road map, focusing on environments which have shaped the imaginations of 20th-century Southern writers during their formative years or throughout the course of their lives and careers. The images portray domestic settings, vernacular architecture, and rural landscapes that visually resonate with the history, culture, and atmosphere of the Deep South.-Stauffer

Assistant Professor of Photography at East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, Stauffer, has been teaching photography for over 15 years. She received a Master of Fine Arts in Photography from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio. Before moving to Johnson City in 2017, she worked as Assistant Professor of Photography at Concordia University in Montreal, QC; and as an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Photography at The College of Staten Island in NY, and Ramapo College of New Jersey.

As the FY22 recipient of the Individual Artist Fellowship in Photography from the Tennessee Arts Commission, it is no surprise that she has been awarded numerous grants and prizes throughout her career. Her photographs have been exhibited at the Reece Museum at ETSU in Johnson City, TN; Hudson Hall at the historic Hudson Opera House in Hudson, NY; School of the International Center of Photography in New York, NY; Tracey Morgan Gallery in Asheville, NC; Mint Museum in Charlotte, NC; Sasha Wolf Gallery in New York, NY; Tyler School of Art, Elkins Hall Gallery in Philadelphia, PA; the Rochester Art Center in Rochester, MN; Gallery 400, the University of Illinois in Chicago, IL; Edition ONE Gallery in Santa Fe, NM; Griffin Museum of Photography in Winchester, MA; The Center for Fine Art Photography in Fort Collins, CO; and the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC; among others. Her work has also been viewed internationally in Barcelona, Spain; Cortona, Italy; Montreal, QC; London, UK; and LiShui, China.

Her work has been published in print and online extensively, including her monograph published in 2018, Upstate: Photographs by Tema Stauffer (Daylight Books), featuring Stauffer’s photographs portraying the lingering legacy of American industrial and agricultural history in and around Hudson, NY. The book was nominated for the Unveil’d Photobook Award 2018, and the prints were exhibited at ETSU’s Reece Museum, Tracey Morgan Gallery, ilon Art Gallery, and Hudson Hall. Most recently, she was interviewed in a podcast titled, Photographer, Professor, + Curator, Tema Stauffer.  Earlier this year, Stauffer was interviewed in BOMB Magazine for her Southern Fiction series. You can read the interview here. Her work is represented by Tracey Morgan Gallery in Asheville, NC, where Southern Fiction, will be exhibited in Fall 2021. Learn more about her work at