Born in 1963 in Boston, Massachusetts Currently lives in San Francisco, California
Nigel Poor is a professor of photography at California State University, Sacramento. Her work has been shown at many institutions, including the San Jose Museum of Art; Institute of Contemporary Art, San Jose; Friends of Photography; SF Camerawork; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art; Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego; Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; and Haines Gallery, San Francisco. Her work can be found in the collections of SFMOMA, the de Young Museum, San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art, and Corcoran Gallery of Art, among others. She received her BA from Bennington College and her MFA from Massachusetts College of Art.
For many years Poor’s work has explored the various ways people make a mark and leave behind evidence of their existence. In 2011 this interest led her to San Quentin State Prison, where she taught history of photography classes for the Prison University Project. The experience changed the focus of her practice and the visual presentation of her ideas. She has since moved away from being a solely visual artist working alone in the studio and now spends the majority of her “studio” time inside the prison working with a group of mostly lifers on photographic projects and producing radio stories about life inside. She is a cofounder and co–managing producer of the San Quentin Prison Report Radio Project (SQPR). In 2014 SQPR was presented with an Award of Excellence from the Society for Professional Journalism for “highlighting the stories of a prison community that outsiders rarely hear, including stories not only told from within the prison, but also produced by inmates.” In 2015 Poor was the recipient of the A Blade of Grass Fellowship for her work with the SQPR radio project.