An interview with me that was conducted this summer by photographer and blogger, Nina Corvallo, was recently posted on the Nymphoto blog and can be found here: Nymphoto Conversation with Tema Stauffer. Nymphoto is a collective of women photographers which functions both as a website to promote the work of women photographers and as a blog to feature news and encourage dialogue about women in the art world.
My relationship with Nymphoto originated nearly six years ago while I was still living in Minnesota. During a trip to New York in the summer of 2002, one of my oldest and closest friends in the arts, Zoe Edmonds, mentioned the newly emerging collective to me and suggested I contact her friend, Nina, to get involved. Some of my work was added to the Nymphoto website in the fall, and I made another trip to New York in December to participate in the Nymphoto's first exhibition, Nymphoto Presents.
This exhibition in a crowded loft on Warren Street stands out as one of the most memorable and significant experiences in my history as an artist. Not only was it a reunion of sorts for me with a lot of old friends from Oberlin College, some of whom I hadn't seen since we graduated, but I also formed new relationships with Nymphoto artists and met a dynamic woman named Jen Bekman standing in front of one of the pieces I was exhibiting (Bird Feeder, 2001).
Shortly thereafter, Jen and I struck up an email correspondence which lead to me return to New York in March 2003 to participate in the inaugural exhibition at her new gallery on Spring Street, which also included work by Mara Bodis-Wollner and Dana Miller. That was the beginning of a relationship with Jen Bekman Gallery which resulted in seven groups shows and a solo show in 2004, as well as my current involvement in her 20x200 project.
Probably everyone at the Nymphoto exhibition on December 5, 2002 has their own version of what that night meant to them and how it effected their individual lives and their relationships with photography, but what is perhaps undeniable is that this event had a profound and lasting impact on the futures of a number of women in the arts. Nymphoto's goal, to provide exposure to work by women photographers and to generate opportunities for their careers, was realized in a myriad of important ways. And nearly six years later, Nymphoto continues to devote itself to discussing work by women artists and addressing the issues and challenges that they face.