Steffani Jemison was born in Berkeley, California, and is currently based in Brooklyn, New York. She holds an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2009) and a BA in Comparative Literature from Columbia University (2003). Jemison uses time-based, photographic, and discursive platforms to examine “progress” and its alternatives.
Jemison’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally at venues including the Brooklyn Museum; the Drawing Center; LAXART; the New Museum; the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Art; the Studio Museum in Harlem; Laurel Gitlen; Team Gallery; and other venues. Her publishing project, Future Plan and Program, commissions literary work by artists of color and has published books by Martine Syms, Jibade-Khalil Huffman, and Harold Mendez, among others. She has participated in artist residencies at Smack Mellon, Brooklyn; the International Studio and Curatorial Program, Brooklyn; Project Row Houses, Houston; the Core Program at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Maine; and the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York. Jemison has served as a visiting critic in the graduate art programs at Columbia University, the University of Pennsylvania, and the University of Illinois-Chicago. She was a 2013 Tiffany Foundation Biennial Awardee and a 2014 Art Matters Grantee. In 2015, she presented her new multipart commission Promise Machine at the Museum of Modern Art.
Jemison is currently an artist-in-residence in the Sharpe-Walentas Space Program. She teaches at Parsons The New School for Design, the Cooper Union, and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.