Essence Harden is a Ph.D. Candidate, independent curator, and arts writer. Essence has curated exhibitions at Charlie James Gallery, California African American Museum (CAAM), Antenna Gallery (New Orleans), Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE), Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD), The Advocate and Gochis Galleries, Residency Art Gallery (Inglewood), Lowell Ryan Projects (2020), and UTA Arts (2020). Their writing has appeared in Contemporary Art Review LA (CARLA), LALA, Cultured Magazine, Performa Magazine, and SFAQ: International Arts and Culture amongst others. Essence is a recipient of The 2018 Creative Capital, Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Program Grant.


Essence graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts in History and received their Master of Arts from the Department of African American Studies at UC Berkeley. Essence is currently a Ph.D. Candidate in African Diaspora Studies at UC Berkeley.

Essence resides in Los Angeles, CA.