Sarah Stefana Smith

Abstraction, representation, infrastructure, materiality, and ecology are explored in my photography, installation, and sculptural work. I use barrier materials—deer, bird, and safety netting, chicken wire and fishing line—to comment on boundaries between human and species, lines of demarcation around difference—race, gender, sexuality, and how modes of difference are used to constitute and congeal belonging.

The series Symmetries/Asymmetries (2020) reflects on light, shadow, line, and blur. Using blur to disrupt the focal point and the networks of line, the photographs attempt to tow the line between symmetrical and asymmetrical relationships.


Sarah Stefana Smith (b. Brooklyn, 1982) works predominately in photography, photo-based weavings, sculpture and installation. Her work has exhibited in spaces, including DCAC (Washington D.C.), Arlington Art Center (Arlington), Borland Project Space (State College), Waller Gallery and Gallery CA (Baltimore), David Spectrum (Toronto), and Hammond House (Atlanta). Smith recently was an artist-in-residence at Merriweather District AIR (2019) and has published writing in Women & Performance (2018), The Black Scholar (2019), The Handbook on Race in the Arts in Education (2018) and Drain Journal of Art and Culture (2015).

Smith received her PhD in 2016 from the University of Toronto in Social Justice Education and completed a MFA in 2010 from Goddard College in Interdisciplinary Art. She is a 2018-2020 Postdoctoral Fellow of Academic Diversity at American University where she teaches in Critical Race, Gender, and Cultural Studies and the Department of Art. In July 2020, Sarah will begin an assistant professorship at Mount Holyoke College.

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