Sarah Nance


Assistant Professor of Interdisciplinary Art



Sarah Nance is an interdisciplinary artist based in installation and fiber. She explores the entanglements of geologic processes and human experience in archived, constructed and speculative terrains. 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, becoming surface layers that point to complex records of deep time within the geo-anthropic landscape.

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

Research Interests

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

Selected Exhibitions / Awards

Nance’s recent exhibition sites include Galerie Octave Cowbell in Metz, France; FOFA Gallery in Montréal, Québec; The Factory in Djúpavík, Iceland; Houston Center for Contemporary Craft in Houston, Tex.; Czong Institute for Contemporary Art (CICA) Museum in Gimpo, South Korea; 1708 Gallery in Richmond, Va.; Antenna in New Orleans, La.; Ejecta Projects in Carlisle, Pa.; and the Katonah Museum of Art in Katonah, N.Y. Awards include multiple Meadows Faculty Summer Research Fellowships and Faculty Development Grants (SMU), a Sam Taylor Fellowship Grant, 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.

Course list

Fall 2022: On research leave

Spring 2023

The Mirroring Line: Interdisciplinary Mark-Making ASDR 3330
Advanced Studio I ASAG 3390 

Previous courses:

Observation  ASAG 1300
Art in the World  ASAG 3310 
Critical Issues  ASAG 3380
Special Topics in Studio Art: Encoded Beads  ASAG 3370
X-Sculpture  ASSC 3350
Digital/Hybrid Media Workshop  ASIM 3310
 Graduate Seminar  ASAG 6300


Sarah Nance