Art and Culture SarahLewis

Published on October 24th, 2010 | by thevyne

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Woman to Watch: Sarah Lewis

Hometown: Born and raised in mid-town Manhattan, NY

Education: Graduated from Harvard University in 2001 with a B.A., received her M.Phil. at Oxford University and is currently completing her Ph.D. at Yale University’s History of Art Department.

Occupation: Historian, writer, curator, and critic at Yale University School of Art. She’s held curatorial positions at The Museum of Modern Art, New York in The Department of Photography and The Department of Painting and Sculpture, and is a guest curator for exhibitions at the Woodruff Arts Center and the Wadsworth Athenaeum. She’s also held curatorial positions at the Tate Modern, London and is the Co-Curator for the 2010 SITE Santa Fe Biennial. In addition to her curatorial efforts, Sarah has taught at Yale University School of Art in the MFA program in the Painting Department.

White House Connection: She was selected as a member of President Obama’s Arts Policy Committee

First Interest in Art: In an article written earlier this year by Dodie Kazanjian for Vogue, titled “Brainiac Rising” Sarah stated, “I got my interest in art from my mother’s father, Shadrack Emmanuel Lee. When he was in the eleventh grade, he asked where the African Americans were in the history books and was told that none of them had accomplished enough to merit being there. His pride was so wounded that he quit school and never graduated. He spent his life as a jazz musician and a painter, deliberately putting African-Americans into genre paintings.” His story, she says, “reminds me that art is foundational for life, not just something that enriches or embellishes it.”

Sarah the Writer: Sarah has been published widely, writing for Art in America, P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center, The Venice Biennial, The Smithsonian Institute National Museum of African American History and Culture, The Studio Museum in Harlem, and The Guggenheim Museum. Her book, entitled RISE: The Power of Failure in Pursuit of Success, draws on her work in the visual arts and expands into sports, business, psychology, sociology, and science to explore the importance of failure in human endeavor will be published by Simon & Schuster.

Fun Facts: Sarah stays in shape by running, taking salsa lessons, doing yoga and meditating. She continues to paint and keeps an active social calendar. A quick glance in her rolodex and you would find John Legend, Chelsea Clinton and Wynton Marsalis to name a few.

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