About Sarah

Sarah Smelser was born in Berkeley, CA in 1971. She attended UC Santa Cruz, earning a BA in Art, and the University of Iowa, earning an MA in Printmaking and MFA in Photography. Smelser has exhibited widely, including solo exhibitions at Kathryn Markel Fine Arts and Bridgewater/Lustberg & Blumenfeld in NYC; Urban Institute for Contemporary Art, Grand Rapids; and at many university galleries across the United States. Her work has been reviewed in Art On Paper and New American Paintings. Smelser has been artist in residence at numerous residencies, including the Vermont Studio Center, Franz Masereel Centrum (Belgium), Artica (Spain), Kala Art Institutue, Jentel Artist Residency, Ballinglen Arts Foundation (Ireland) and Skopelos Foundation for the Arts (Greece).

Smelser’s work is included in numerous public and private collections, including:


  • Library of Congress
  • Reader’s Digest Association
  • Zimmerli Museum at Rutgers University
  • New York Public Library
  • Hallmark Corporate Collection
  • Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts
  • Royal Museum of Fine Arts (Antwerp)
  • Art Gallery of New South Wales (Australia)
  • Spencer Museum at the University of Kansas.


Sarah Smelser is a Professor of Art at Illinois State University.