Sarah Nance


Assistant Professor of Interdisciplinary Art



Sarah Nance is an interdisciplinary artist based in installation and fiber. She works within the entanglements of geologic processes and human experience, exploring archived, constructed and speculative landscapes. Her time spent living in the geologies of the Driftless Area, Oregon, Iceland, and eastern Canada has been significant in the development of her research, much of which continues to be based in these regions.

Nance’s current project, shroud for an ancient sea, draws on a diverse terrain of subsurface meteor craters, fossilized coral reefs and exhumed mountain ranges. These “archived” landscapes are often observable only through fossil records, artifacts or recorded data. Still, they are inextricably layered within contemporary landscapes, creating entangled strata of geologic and human histories. The site-responsive works in shroud for an ancient sea vary from expansive textiles to experimental vocal performances, acting as momentary surface layers that point to complex records of deep time within the geo-anthropic landscape.

Nance’s recent exhibitions include Galerie Octave Cowbell in Metz, France; The Factory in Djúpavík, Iceland; Galerie FOFA in Montréal, Québec; Czong Institute for Contemporary Art (CICA) Museum in Gimpo, South Korea; 1708 Gallery in Richmond, Va.; Antenna in New Orleans, La.; TRUCK Contemporary Art in Calgary, Alberta; Ejecta Projects in Carlisle, Pa.; and the Katonah Museum of Art in Katonah, N.Y. Awards include the La Soupée Project Grant (Galerie Diagonale) and the Fountainhead Fellowship (Virginia Commonwealth University). Her performances have been featured at The 2051 Munich Climate Conference in Germany; the Overburden: Geology, Extraction and Metamorphosis in a Chaotic Age symposium in Nelson & Castlegar, British Columbia; Ferrara Sotto Le Stelle Festival in Ferrara, Italy; and Washington-Grizzly Stadium in Missoula, Mt.

Prior to teaching at SMU, Nance has held professorships at Concordia University in Montréal, Québec, and Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Va., both in fiber.


M.F.A. Art, University of Oregon, Eugene, Ore.
B.A. summa cum laude Art, Women's & Gender Studies, Luther College, Decorah, Iowa

Recent Work


Fiber structures (beadwork, lacework, nets, knits, quilts), geotextiles, the Anthropocene, site-responsive sculpture and installation, performance

Course list

Fall 2021
Observation ASAG 1300
Graduate Seminar ASAG 6300
Previous courses
Art in the World ASAG 3310
Critical Issues ASAG 3380
Special Topics in Studio Art: Encoded Beads ASAG 3370
The Mirroring Line: Interdisciplinary Mark-Making ASDR 3330
X-Sculpture ASSC 3350
Sarah Nance