Jo Ann Callis was born in Cincinnati, OH and relocated to Los Angeles in 1961. She enrolled at UCLA in 1970 where she began taking classes with Robert Heinecken, among other prominent artists. She started teaching at CalArts in 1976 and remains a faculty member of the School of Art’s Program in Photography and Media. She has continued to photograph, draw, and paint, and her work has been widely exhibited in such venues as the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Hammer Museum; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and many others. In 2009 a retrospective of her work, Woman Twirling, was presented by the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles. Callis has received three NEA Fellowships and a Guggenheim Fellowship, among other awards and prizes.