Master of Fine Arts, Writing-Critical Studies, California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, California
Bachelor of Fine Arts, Central Saint Martins, London


Emma Kemp is a writer and researcher working across disciplines. Originally from London, U.K., Kemp received her BA in Art from Central Saint Martins, UAL, and her MFA in Writing-Critical Studies from California Institute of the Arts, where she programs the CalArts’ Summer Institute Studio Residency. Kemp is an Assistant Professor at Otis College of Art & Design, serving as Area Coordinator for 2D and Contemporary Creative Practice.

In the spring of 2023, Kemp co-founded and was appointed director of Concerning Landscape/No Canyon Hills, a coalition and non-profit engaged with anti-colonial land conservation in Los Angeles. This work is an extension of the image-first research collaboration in Bakersfield initiated by Kemp and Mateo Altman.

Kemp's book, Blue Pool: Cecelia, in partnership with photographer JoAnn Walters and published by Image Text Ithaca, was shortlisted for the Aperture Photobook Awards 2018. Kemp organized and co-edited Astral Projection in Higher Ed (East of Borneo Books), a collection of notes from Art and Design educators compiled in the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. She is currently represented by Frances Goldin Literary Agency. 

Emma Kemp artwork: Out Past the Eye-Mark
Emma Kemp artwork: Remote Control
Emma Kemp artwork: Blue Pool, Cecelia
Emma Kemp artwork


Awards and Residencies:

  • 2021, Al Larvick National Grant 
  • 2020, Teaching Excellence Award, Otis College Art & Design
  • 2020, Faculty Research and Development Grant, Otis College Art & Design
  • 2019, Rethinking “Crit” in the Studio-Classroom (Research Grant)
  • 2019, Ithaca New Voices Festival
  • 2016-2018, Utah Humanities Foundation: Delmont R. Oswald Fellow
  • 2016, Faculty Research and Development Grant California Institute of the Arts
  • 2015, Image Text Ithaca Fellow, Ithaca College 

Professional Accomplishments/Exhibitions:  

Selected Exhibitions, Conferences and Events:

  • 2021, The Culture Journalist Podcast 
  • 2021, East of Borneo W/Fiona Connor & Tom Lawson, Printed Matter LAABF 
  • 2020, Now Instant w/ Laida Lertxundi 
  • 2019, AICAD conference, Los Angeles
  • 2019, FATE conference, Ohio 
  • 2019, Future Ruins @ John Baldessari Gallery, CalArts 
  • 2019, iTi @ NYABF, NY 
  • 2019, Bytemarks @ Holiday 
  • 2018, Jan-May, Home Bodies, Away Teams, Museum Contemporary Art Utah
  • 2017, Home Bodies, Away Teams, Blue Roof Studios, Los Angeles 
  • 2017, CalArts CSSSA Visiting Artist 
  • 2017, Soft Serve @ Family, Los Angeles 
  • 2017, Mystic Hyperstitians in the Heart of Empire, Indianapolis Museum Contemporary Art 

Selected Publications:

  • forthcoming, BARBARA (MS under consideration with Siglio Press, L.A.)
  • forthcoming, Our Modern Joy (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) 
  • 2021, Bakersfield (Pool, Issue #6, Plant)
  • 2021, Remote Control (EOB Editions) a collection of pedagogical texts commissioned, curated and edited for East of Borneo, L.A.
  • 2021, “Out Past the Eye Mark” (X—TRA Mag) 
  • 2021, “When You Cut into the Present” (X—TRA Online) 
  • 2020, Urgency Reader Vol. 1 & 2 (Queer Archive Work) 
  • 2020, CloudKitchens Report (Bakersfield / LACA) 
  • 2018, Blue Pool Cecelia, (iTi Press)