Creative Class: Sarah Nesbitt

snSarah Nesbitt was born in Syracuse, New York and has a MFA in Photography at Pennsylvania State University and a BFA in Photography and Drawing at the State University of New York at Oswego. Her interests lie in studying how history is used and perceived, in conjunction with investigating the importance of people’s actions and behaviors towards that information acquired to them.

Nesbitt’s work have been featured in publications such as the French Magazine Levure Litteraire, the third edition of The Book of Alternative Photographic Processes (Cengage Learning Press), Photographer’s Forum, Detroit Metro Times and INSIGHT 7 Magazine. She has had recent group exhibitions that included jurors such as Jennifer Blessing, Curator of Photography at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (2012); Christopher James, Author of The Book of Alternative Photographic Processes (2012) and Louis Grachos, Director of Albright-Knox Gallery (2005). Her work is in the collection of the Pennsylvania State University Library in the Rare Books and Manuscripts Collection; Deborah Stanley, President of the State University of New York at Oswego, Graham Sullivan, Director of the School of Visual Arts at Pennsylvania State University, and Charles Garoian, Professor of Art and Art Education at Pennsylvania State University. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Photography and Art History at Marygrove College in Detroit.


What inspires you to create?
Researching history, reading about it and discussing it motivates me to create work about it. I also teach 20th and 21st Century Art History and World Art History at Marygrove College, so I spend a lot of time talking about people, events and the construction of history itself (historiography). I also reading a lot about history, listen to podcasts such as Radiolab, This American Life, and going to talks relating to historiography, storytelling and current trends in science.

Can you describe your greatest creative achievement?
That’s a really good question, and a hard one to answer, I think it might have been the time I realized I wanted to be a photographer. I’ve been in notable exhibitions (in Argentina, UAE, Royal Scottish Academy, South Korea and NY State Museum) that I am very proud of, but I’d like to give credit to the time when I realized that photography was the medium for me to explore, fall in love with and still get giddy about. It was from an visual art retrospective of Carrie Mae Weems’ work that I saw when I was 14 years old and the way she used photography allowed me to see photographs that weren’t created to show pretty pictures of landscapes and people, but to carry a message and tell someone else’s story from a empathetic point of view.

What advice would you give to the next generation of creative people?

Find your community and an inspiring place to create your work. You don’t have to live in NYC, Chicago or Los Angeles to be an artist, although they are great places to exhibit your work and to visit, but you don’t have to struggle to live there. What matters is being able to find an ideal place to be inspired and in an environment that supports you as an artist (emotionally, financially, etc.). For example, Sally Mann lives in the middle of the country, away from people, still makes work and is a very well-known successful photographer, and you have Chuck Close who lives in a couple of places in the NYC area who’s also a well-known, successful artist. Success itself is defined by you, it’s all about living a fulfilled life that makes sense to you.

What one word would you use to describe yourself or the work you do?
maybe….Curious. I love learning and experiencing new things….

To learn more about Sarah, CLICK HERE.

slide1_fotoris a series of profiles of creative people throughout the world that I have either shared the stage with or have observed their talents from a far. The questions are my own and their answers are unaltered.

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