Bio

Sophie Sanders is a multidisciplinary artist and professor of art history, who was born and spent her childhood in New York City. Sanders has also collaborated on curatorial projects and she practices yoga and dance.

She earned a BFA in Printmaking from the School of Art at Washington University in St. Louis, MO; an MFA in Printmaking from the Slade School of Art, University College London, England; and a Ph.D. in Art History from Tyler School of Art, Temple University.

Sanders has shown her figurative and pattern-based fiber artworks, prints, and paintings nationally and internationally in London, Scotland, Japan, and many regions of the United States, including New York City, New England, Venice Beach and Oakland, California, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Missouri, and New Jersey.  In 2019 October, she exhibited over 50 works at both campuses of New England College in New Hampshire.  In July 2021, Sanders will participate in the Elsewhere museum and artist residency, Greensboro, SC.

Sanders has received grants, solo exhibitions, and fellowships for her art and scholarly projects.  Her essay Constellation of a New American Canon: African American Artists Abroad will be published in Nka, Journal of Contemporary African Art and her recent essay on John Biggers was published in the first issue of the International Review of African American Art by Hampton University in Virginia. She has taught art history as a visiting professor at Swarthmore College, the University of Pennsylvania, Arcadia University, Drexel University, Ursinus College, Tyler School of Art, Temple University, and New England College. 



Curriculam Vitae

Education

2013    PhD in Art History, Tyler School of Art, Temple University, Philadelphia
Dissertation: Spirited Pattern and Decoration in Contemporary Black Atlantic Art

1997    MFA, Printmaking, The Slade School of Art, University College London, England (1997)

1993    BFA, Washington University in St. Louis, MO
Temple University Rome Art Program, Rome, Italy

1991    University of Georgia Cortona Program, Italy

Select Exhibitions: Solo and Group

2021    

  • The Flow of Nature, Jill C. Wilson Gallery, Kimball Jenkins School of Art, Concord, NH
  • Printmaking on the Edge, The Art Center Dover, NH

2020    

  • XPOSED- Naked & Not Afraid Exhibition  Knox Contemporary Gallery of Art - Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  • Elsewhere, Greensboro, NC, museum and artist residency program
  • Eye Mandala, The Vault Gallery, Institute of Art and Design at New England College, Manchester, New Hampshire
  • A Local Inspiration, Lyceum Gallery, The Derryfield School, Manchester, NH
  • MAP Vol. 9, Jupiter Hall, Manchester, NH

2019    

  • Sophie Sanders: Ophelia Rising and Sight/Insight, New England College, NH, two solo exhibitions, October – December 2019 at both Manchester and Henniker campuses of NEC, New Hampshire
  • Ink It: Contemporary Print Practice, BlackRock Center for the Arts, Maryland
  • Recycled/Repurposed/Repairthe World: Art as Tikkun Olam, Temple Judea Museum, Elkins Park, PA

2018    

  • Fleisher Art Memorial Wind Challenge, Philadelphia, PA
  • The Woodmere Annual: 77th Juried Exhibition: Land, Transience of The Body, and Skill of the Maker, curated by Syd Carpenter, Woodmere Art Museum, Philadelphia, PA (June 2 –Sept. 3, 2018)

2017    

  • Politics Unusual, curated by Raphael Tiberino, Rush Arts, Philadelphia, PA
  • Message to Our Daughters, Art in City Hall, Philadelphia, PA

2016    

  • The Written Image, curated by Susanna Gold, PhD, private exhibition incurator’s home, Bryn Mawr, PA
  • The Woodmere Annual: 75th Juried Exhibition: The Condition of Place, curated by Odili Donald Odita, Woodmere Art Museum, Philadelphia, PA (June 4 – August 28,2016)
  • Viral: 25 Years From Rodney King, travelling exhibition which included public programs and community events and will continue to travel until 2018.  The first two venues include: SPARC’s Durón Gallery, Venice Beach, CA (April-June), Betti Ono Gallery, Oakland, CA (Sept.-Nov)
  • Singer-songwriter Rhonda Ross featured my portraits in her performance video “In Case You Didn’t Know,” which she debuted at her concert at Joe’s Pub, The Public Theater, New York City, 11/14/16, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9THtKBBJL70&feature=youtu.be

2015    

  • Fabric Workshop and Museum, Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit, Philadelphia (Dec. 17, 2015-Mar. 2016)

2014    

  • Temple Judea Museum, “Step Into My Studio” Said the Artist to the Prophet, Elkins Park, PA (Sept. 2014-Jan. 2015)
  •  Limner Gallery, A Show of Heads, Hudson, NY (Oct. 25 – Nov. 23, 2014)

2013   

  • Kunstenlab, Laboratoriumplein 1, In Kritieke staat, The Netherlands, www.kunstenlab.nl
  • Napoleon Gallery, Big And Little: Charity Art Sale, Philadelphia, PA

2011    

  • Projects Gallery, Art Styles – Abstraction, Philadelphia,PA
  • Projects Gallery, Máscara (Mask), Philadelphia, PA

2010    

  • Fox Art Gallery, University of Pennsylvania, Undressing Race, curated by Race Dialogue Project, Philadelphia, PA
  • Some Things Looming: Simply IrRESISTible, Reading, PA
  • Snyderman Gallery: Seventh International Fiber Biennial, Philadelphia, PA

2009    

  • Art City Hall, On the Fringe of Fiber, City Hall, Philadelphia, PA

2008    

  • Es Oro Polymedia Gallery, Conflicted, Jersey City, NJ

2007    

  • NURTURE art, The Occidental Artist, Williamsburg, Brooklyn
  • School of Architecture, Tyler School of Art of Temple University, Seams and Surfaces, Philadelphia, PA

2006    

  • Fabric Workshop and Museum, The Unspoken Truth, in conjunction with Lonnie Graham’s A Conversation at the Table, Philadelphia, PA            
  • Philadelphia Folklore Project, Community Fabric, Philadelphia, PA
  • African American Museum, Rhythm, Remembrance, and Re-Presentation,           
  • Dallas, Texas
  • Danny Simmons’ Corridor Gallery, Rhythm, Remembrance, and Re-Presentation, Brooklyn, NY

Select Private Collections

  • Leonard Colchamiro, Director, Leonard Colchamiro PC AIA Architects
  • Muriel Davis, the Economist
  • Valentin Fuster, Director, World Heart Association
  • Kelli Morgan, Curator of American Art, Indianapolis Art Museum
  • Major General Hugh Robinson and Paula Raymond
  • Rhonda Ross, singer, songwriter, and activist
  • Pierre Schori, United Nations Ambassador to Sweden
  • Danny Simmons, Curator, Artist and Executive Director, Rush Philanthropic Foundation
  • Daryl Stenvoll-Wells and “Art Responders”

Publications

2021    

  • “Constellation of a New American Canon: African American Artists Abroad,” Nka, Journal of Contemporary African Art, Duke University Press, (forthcoming)

2019

  • “John Biggers’ Quilting Party: Will the Circle Be Unbroken?,” International Review of African American Art, Hampton University Press, October 2019
  • “The After-Glow of Alexis Nutini’s Relief Printmaking,” catalog essay for exhibition Dos Tres Press: Color-Coded, Brandywine Printmaking Workshop and Archives, Philadelphia, June 21– October 5, 2019

2017

  • My letterpress print Colorful Boy featured in Tinker Street art journal, first publication, Hudson, NY
  • “Richard Hricko’s Homage to Decay and Recovery,” catalog essay for artist’s exhibition Growth and Survival, Art at Wharepuke, Kerikeri, New Zealand and exhibition at C.R. Ettinger Studio Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
  • “Tara Sabharwal: Embracing the Lightness of Being,” catalog essay for an exhibition at Art Alive Gallery, New Delhi, India

2015

  • “Scherezade Garcia,” catalog essay for solo exhibition at the Gallery of the College of Staten Island, NYC

2013

  • Dissertation: Spirited Pattern and Decoration in Contemporary Black Atlantic Art, Proquest
  • Primordial Ink:  Alexis Nutini’s Synthesized Worlds, Napoleon Gallery exhibition catalog, Philadelphia

2012

  • Faces of Africa and its Diaspora, Stella Elkins Gallery, Tyler School of Art: exhibition catalog, published by Tyler School of Art, Temple University

2010

  • Review of Contemporary African Art Since 1980 by African Arts (2010), James S. Coleman African Studies Center, University of California, Los Angeles.

2008

  • From Taboo to Icon, Africanist Turnabout, catalog from 35-artist exhibition exploring concepts of taboo and icon in the African Diaspora. Co-curated with Shervone Neckles for Ice Box Project Space, Crane Arts Building, Philadelphia, PA, (January 10, 2008 – February 12, 2008)
  • Afro-American National Biography Project: “Biography of John Biggers,” Oxford University Press and Harvard University's W. E. B. Du Bois Institute
  • Parnassus, The University of Louisville Graduate Art History Journal, “Seduction/Subversion: African Art and Commodification,” (Spring 2008)

Conferences / Curatorial Projects

2021    

  • African American Art Abroad Panel, College Art Association

2017

  • Guest Speaker at Craft NOW: Fluid Boundaries Symposium, Moore College of Art and Design
  • National Association of African American Studies and Affiliates 2017 Conference, “Keith Morrison Paints a Transatlantic Consciousnesslecture with Tony Brown, M.D., Dallas, TX

2015

  • African Studies Association conference: “#blacklivesmatter: Transnational perspectives on the body, violence, and performance,” Co-chairs: Kim Miller, Nicholas Mirzoeff,Nick Cave’s Soundsuits: Armor for Black bodies and Spirits,” San Diego, CA, (November)
  • African American and Affiliates Annual Symposium, “Sacred Geometry in the Work of John Biggers,” invited speaker, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, (February)

2014

  • Lecturer for Art at Lunch series, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, subject: “She’s the Boss: Mickalene Thomas’ Glittering Odalisques,” (April)

2013   

  • Lecturer and Artist presenter in Call & Response: A cross-disciplinary symposium on the intersections of Visual Art, Music, and Dance, Conwell Dance Theater, Temple University.  Created hand-painted and indigo-dyed costumes for performance by the dance company, Kariamu & Company.
  • Lecturer, Graduate Symposium: Women in American Art, presented in conjunction with: The Female Gaze: Women Artists Making Their World at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. Recipient of Tyler School of Art’s Thomas Eakins Award for participation in this event

2012

  • Curator, Faces of Africa and its Diaspora, Stella Elkins Gallery, Tyler School of Art: a multimedia exhibition of portraits of influential black and multiracial artists from the 20th to the 21st Centuries by Tyler School of Art and Temple University students. It was accompanied by an exhibition catalog, for which one of my students received the Dean’s Grant

2011

  • Speaker at The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and the Institute for Research on the African Diaspora in the Americas and the Caribbean of the Graduate Center of The City University of New York conference: The State of African American and African Diaspora Studies: Methodology, Pedagogy, and Research

2008

  • Curator, From Taboo to Icon, Africanist Turnabout, exhibition of 35 artists exploring concept of taboo and icon in the African Diaspora. Co-curated with Shervone Neckles for Ice Box Project Space, Philadelphia, PA.  

2006-2007

  • Curator, African Impressions / Contemporary Art symposia series for Art History Department, Tyler School of Art of Temple University:

Program 1: Mining History for African Voices featuring Kimberly Camp, Ayanah Moor, Tumelo Mosaka, Dr. Gwendolyn DuBois Shaw, moderator: Odili Donald Odita  (11/7/06)

Program 2: From Taboo to Icon: Images of the Black Body featuring Allan Edmunds, Naomi Beckwith, Dr. Emily Hage, Dr. Deborah Willis, and Lonnie Graham, moderator: Dr. Susanna Gold (2/27/07)

Program 3: Fist& Foot: Remix of African Performance in Visual Art: featuring Dr. Robert Farris Thompson, Dr. Brenda Dixon Gottschild, Odili Donald Odita,Dr. Gaynell Sherrod, moderator: Dr. Leslie King-Hammond, and a performance by Kariamu Dance Company. (10/9/07)

  • Symposium Curator and Moderator, Sensitivity and Spirit in the Art of African Women, symposium in conjunction with the Art of African Women: Empowering Traditions exhibition at the African American Museum in Philadelphia. The event featured: Dr. Joyce Ashuntangtag, Xenobia Bailey, Dr. Adrienne Hoard, Simone Leigh, and Shervone Neckles. (3/31/07)
  • Speaker at the Transformations, Renewals and Reconfigurations Conference, University of Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Speaker at the Aegis First Annual Symposium on Art History and Visual Culture: Cross-Cultural Encounters Symposium, University of Louisville, Kentucky

Awards / Grants / Residencies

2021    Elsewhere Residency, Greensboro, NC: artist residency participant in a unique museum and residency built over a thrift store

2020    Artist Marketing Grant, New Hampshire State Council for the Arts

2018    Fleisher Wind Challenge: a grant to cover the cost of my exhibition at Fleisher Art Memorial

2015    Included in 200 Influential Africana Artists, compiled by Dr. Moyo Okediji, https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=435310473263603&id=415015031959814

2010-2014      

2007-2008

  • Temple University Provost’s Commission for the Arts Fellowship
  • Joan Mitchell Foundation support of catalogue and shipping for From Taboo to Icon: Africanist Turnabout exhibition
  • Temple University Alumni Association support of African Impressions / Contemporary Art symposium
  • Tyler Student Life support of From Taboo to Icon: Africanist Turnabout exhibition
  • Crane Arts support of From Taboo to Icon: Africanist Turnabout exhibition
  • Invited Guest Speaker at the Transformations, Renewals and Reconfigurations Conference, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa

2006

  • Guest Speaker at the Aegis First Annual Symposium on Art History and Visual Culture: Cross-Cultural Encounters Symposium, University of Louisville, Kentucky
  • Temple University Alumni Association support of African Impressions / Contemporary Art symposia
  • Tyler Student Life support of African Impressions / Contemporary Art symposium
  • Tyler School of Art’s Office of the Dean support of African Impressions / Contemporary Art symposium
  • Art History Department of Tyler School of Art, Temple University support of African Impressions / Contemporary Art symposium

2003

  • Guest Speaker at an Evening of Women of Opinion, Consulate General of Sweden, NY.

2002

  • Scholarship Participant of Building on Familiar Ground: New York City Board of Education Summer Institute Using the Katherine Dunham Model: assisted in assessment of program and produced a unique interdisciplinary curriculum for University students

1998

  • Internships at Drum TV and Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop, both in NYC

1991-1992

  • First Prize winner for Carolyn Risque Award
  • Secor Award 2 years
  • Elliott Honors, (1991-1992)
  • Dean’s List 4 semesters (1989-1992)

University Teaching / Museum Education Experience

2020-Present

  •   Visiting Assistant Professor, Institute of Art and Design, New England College, NH, “Art and Identity”, “Contemporary Art”, planned review panelist for MFA program, “History of Photography”, “Art and Environment”, “Printmaking on Fabric”, "Global History of Textiles"

2021

  • Visiting Instructor, Arcadia University, “Vision and Selfhood: African American Art History”, a course newly endowed by the University

2019

  • Visiting Assistant Professor, Institute of Art and Design, New England College, NH, “Modern Art”
  • Visiting Assistant Professor, Swarthmore College, PA, “Facing Race and Identity in American Art”
  • Adjunct Instructor, St. Joseph’s University, “Contemporary Art”

2018

  • Visiting Instructor, Arcadia University, “Vision and Selfhood: African American Art History”, a course newly endowed by the University

2016-2017      

  • Visiting Critic for Graduate Programs, Moore College of Art and Design, Philadelphia, PA
  • Adjunct Instructor, Department of Art History, St. Joseph’s University, “Contemporary Art and Architecture” for undergraduates.
  • Adjunct Instructor, Art and Art History Department, Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design, Drexel University, “Survey of Janson’s History of Art” for 85 undergraduate students and “Contemporary Art”

2015

  • Adjunct Instructor, Dept. of Art History, University of Pennsylvania, Department of Art History, “Facing America: Race, Gender, and Identity in American Art, an undergraduate Gen Ed course
  • Adjunct Instructor, Art and Art History Department, Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design, Drexel University, Department of Art History, “Contemporary Art Issues,” a graduate seminar in contemporary art

2014

  • Invited Instructor, the Barnes Foundation.  This course “Avant-Garde Modernists and African Patterns in the Barnes Collection” focuses on works in the foundation collection and the Magic Ladders exhibition by Yinka Shonibare, MBE

2013-2019

  • Adjunct Instructor, Tyler School of Art, Temple University.  I taught courses on “Race, Identity, and Experience in American Art,” an art and art history course offered to Tyler School of Art and Temple University students.  I have also taught Black Atlantic Art History, History of Printmaking, History of Photography, Early Renaissance Art History, and Art Heritage (a survey of Western art).

2006-2019      

  • Senior Education Specialist, The Fabric Workshop and Museum (FWM), Philadelphia, PA.  Created training materials for staff for exhibitions, most recently Sonya Clark: Monumental Cloth, The Flag We Should Know and Jacolby Satterwhite: Room for Living, and wrote descriptions for lectures, panel discussions, and other public programs to complement exhibitions.  Organized a gender and sexuality training for staff lead by the Penn LBGT Center at the University of Pennsylvania. Prepared exhibition trainings for FWM education and visitor services staff, curate family and community events and assist with education initiatives. I organized public programming and outreach events for the Question Bridge: Black Males exhibition and spring Family Day programs.  Over my many years at FWM, I have managed collaborations with local and international cultural organizations and museums, and other educational initiatives

2010

  • Adjunct Art History Instructor, Ursinus College, Collegeville, PA.  Created and taught a new course: “African American Art History”

2008-2012

  • Teaching Assistantship, Art History Department, Tyler School of Art, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA. Wrote syllabus and developed three new courses that will be offered regularly: “Sensitivity and Spirit in Modern and Contemporary Art of the African Diaspora,” “Contemporary African Art Since 1980,” and “History of Printmaking,” all new classes offered to undergraduate (and some graduate) students of Tyler School of Art. Also, I taught “Art Heritage of the Western World,” a survey of Western art from ancient times to contemporary, “Early Renaissance Art,” and “History of Photography”

2004-2006

  • Guest Teaching Artist. Brooklyn Museum of Art, NY.  Led intensive intergenerational workshops in conjunction with Amina Brenda Lynn Robinson’s exhibition, Symphonic Poem
  • Panelist, Entry Track Panel Pennsylvania Council for the Arts, Harrisburg, PA
  • Guest Teaching Artist, Internationale Dresdner Sommerakademie, Motorenhalle, Dresden, Germany. Taught at summer international university summer program.  Guided adult students to develop their own collage and construction work with fabric and paper (2005)
  • Museum Educator, Philadelphia Museum of Art, PA. Worked with Family Programs, School, and Teacher Programs.  Designed curriculum for Delphi After School Art Club and led weekly school tours for special exhibitions. (2004-2006)
  • Juror, NYC Housing Authority Annual Art Exhibition, NYC.  Teamed with two other jurors to select 500 works of art out of 1000 submissions for annual art exhibition of residents of NYC public housing

2002-2004

  • Museum Educator, Brooklyn Museum of Art, NYC. Led Adult Programs Workshops, “Arty Facts” monthly family workshops and First Saturday “Hands On Art” Programs, led a School collaboration with PS 321, After-school Programs with middle school and elementary school students.
  • Teaching Artist, Museum for African Art, NYC. Led Public Programs, including holiday Printmaking Workshop for 30 children and adults.
  • Museum Educator, South Street Seaport Museum, NYC.  Created and taught an interdisciplinary curriculum including dance, visual art and music in relation to marine science and in collaboration with a marine biologist.  Students included 7th/8th special education and “Boost Program” students at IS5 in Queens. Also, taught after school classes for the "Discover Your City's History" visual art program.
  • Teaching Artist, Studio in a School, NYC.  Early Childhood Program residency at Chinatown Headstart and Special Programs staff development and parent/child workshops at Miracle Makers day care centers Brooklyn.

2000-2002

  • Artist Educator and Family Programs Coordinator, Whitney Museum of American Art, NYC.  Organized, promoted, and raised funds for annual free Family Day for over 1400 visitors. Developed curricula and evaluation tools, and led weekly and monthly thematic workshops for families.  Trained teen participants of Youth Insights program and led 3 school tours per week. Designed and led a special workshop in conjunction with the Quilts of Gee's Bend exhibition that was featured on NBC.
  • Teaching Artist, New York University.  Led Adult Education classes in printmaking      
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