The School of the Arts Welcomes Sable Elyse Smith, Assistant Professor of Visual Arts

July 30, 2020

The School of the Arts welcomes its newest faculty member Sable Elyse Smith, Assistant Professor of Visual Arts. Smith joined the Visual Arts Program in Fall 2020.


Sable Elyse Smith is an interdisciplinary artist, writer, and educator based in New York. Using video, sculpture, photography, and text, she points to the carceral, the personal, the political, and the quotidian to speak about a violence that is largely unseen, and potentially imperceptible. Her work has been featured at MoMA Ps1, New Museum, The Studio Museum in Harlem,  Brooklyn Museum, New York; ICA Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA; and MIT List Visual Arts Centers, Cambridge, MA amongst others. She has received awards from Creative Capital, Fine Arts Work Center, the Queens Museum, Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation, Rema Hort Mann Foundation, the Franklin Furnace Fund, and Art Matters.


“Professor Smith occupies a deservedly prominent place in contemporary art discourse. Her work, which largely confronts the United States' prison-industrial complex, currently incarcerating 2.2 million adults, has gained a wide audience through her solo exhibitions,” said Visual Arts Program Chair Matthew Buckingham. “She holds great promise for the future of both contemporary art and for the students of Columbia University. Professor Smith is forward-looking, taking a positive view of the potential for change, especially when it is rooted in the classroom. She empowers her students to investigate how their own knowledge is produced. Art is a way of imagining the future.”

Below is a glimpse into Smith's work. For more images like these, visit Sable Elyse Smith's profile


Courtesy the artist, Carlos/Ishikawa, London and JTT, NYC.

Courtesy the artist, Carlos/Ishikawa, London and JTT, NYC.