Teka Selman has been integrally involved in the contemporary art world for over fifteen years. Born and raised in the suburbs of Detroit, Michigan, she studied Art History and Anthropology at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and received an MA in Art History and Visual Culture from Goldsmith's, University of London, where she completed her master’s thesis on the work of Lorna Simpson and Kara Walker.
She has worked extensively with artists, collectors, and institutions as an art dealer, curator, museum professional and writer. Prior to receiving her MA, Teka was Manager of Major Gifts at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, where she collaborated to raise funds for the museum’s extensive exhibitions and programs. She went on to hold positions at Gagosian Gallery, first in London and then New York, before becoming Director at Sikkema Jenkins & Co. Gallery, New York, where she worked closely with such artists as Mark Bradford, Wangechi Mutu, Janaina Tschape, Mitch Epstein and Kara Walker. Teka relocated to the southeast in 2006, becoming Partner at Branch Gallery, in Durham, North Carolina, where – with Chloe Seymore – she built a program that received national attention for its focus on the work of emerging artists.
Teka has lectured on contemporary art at institutions including the Barbados National Art Gallery, Ackland Art Museum, NC; Nasher Museum of Art, Duke University, NC; 17th Bienniale of Sydney, Australia; and the International Curators Forum Symposium at the 2009 Venice Bienniale. Curatorial projects include The Citizen, an ongoing exhibition project of moving image works; Here at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts; Present Tense Future Perfect at Jazzar Contemporary, Miami, FL; Configured at Benrimon Contemporary, New York; and Lightbox: Jota Castro, Rigsbee Hall, Durham, NC. Her writing on artists such as Mark Bradford, Coco Fusco and Kara Walker has been featured in publications including The Black Moving Cube (The Green Box Kunstedition, 2006) and Freestyle (Studio Museum in Harlem, 2001), as well as various magazines and journals. She has been a fellow of the International Curators Forum, London (2010), and has served as a cultural advisor for such organizations as the Durham Art Guild and the North Carolina Arts Council.
Teka serves on the advisory boards of Queenspace, a residency in New York dedicated to promoting the work and careers of young artists, as well as Art Papers, an Atlanta-based magazine and non-profit organization that provides an accessible forum for examining, discussing, and documenting the full spectrum of contemporary art and culture.