Senga Nengudi was born in 1943 in Chicago. She lives and works in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Her work has been featured in the recent group exhibitions Blues for Smoke (2012) at the Whitney Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Radical Presence: Black Performance in Contemporary Art (2012) at the Contemporary Art Museum Houston, the Grey Art Gallery, and the Studio Museum of Harlem; Now Dig This! Art and Black Los Angeles 1960–1980 (2011) at the Hammer Museum, MoMA PS1, and the Williams College Art Museum. She has been the subject of solo presentations at the Thomas Erben Gallery, New York, and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art.
Interested in the visual arts, dance, body mechanics and matters of the spirit from an early age these elements still play themselves out in ever changing ways in her art. She has always used a variety of natural (sand, dirt, rocks, seed pods) and unconventional (panty hose, found objects, masking tape) materials to fashion her works, utilizing these materials as a jazz musician utilizes notes and sounds to improvise a composition. The thrust of her art is to share common experiences in abstractions that hit the senses and center, often welcoming the viewer to become a participant.
Along with doing art Nengudi is strongly committed to arts education. Along with teaching courses at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs in the Visual Arts and Performing Arts Department, she has always been involved with bringing arts programs emphasing diversity to the communities in which she resides. Besides her individual efforts she has belonged to a variety of organizations with similar goals.