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Student profile

Sarah Pollman

Thesis supervisor: Jeremy Stolow

Sarah Pollman is an interdisciplinary scholar who works in and around photography. Their current research examines how performance shapes visual cultures of mental health experiences, both in the past and present day. Their previous projects have examined the role of the psychiatric institution in the treatment and burial of anonymous loved ones, and the movement of family photographs through capitalist systems of distribution and display. Within these works, the central questions remain the same: how does the photograph communicate with individuals across time and space? How does the photograph stand-in for the bodies that it represents, and what are the affective implications of this substitution?

Sarah holds an MFA from Tufts University and a BFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University. Prior to relocating to Montréal, Sarah taught courses in art history, the humanities and the visual arts at Tufts University, Emerson College, Montserrat College of Art and New England College. In addition to traditional scholarly output, they maintain visual arts and critical-curatorial practices and are committed to creating a more just educational experience through radical pedagogical practices.

Thesis title or subject: Performing for the Camera: affect, embodiment, feminism and the visual cultures of mental health experiences


Single authored book

  • 2016: The Distances Between Us (Trema Forlag), 56pp; 26 illus.

Selected article

  • 2019: ‘New Futures: Examining a Pictured Past’. Art New England, Vol. 40, No. 6, 29-31.
  • 2016: ‘The Shifting Meaning of Pictures”. Art New England, Volume 37, No. 1, 38-41.
  • 2016: ‘El Anatsui at Mt. Holyoke College Museum of Art’. Big, Red & Shiny, Vol. 2, No. 19 (April). Online.
  • 2013: ‘Landing at Zero’. Big, Red & Shiny, Vol. 2, No. 10 (July 15). Online.

Selected conference presentations

  • 2023: ‘Woven Memories: Mourning, Photography and Victorian Hairwork’. IAMHIST Conference
  • 2023: FUTURE [of] ARCHIVES, Université du Québec à Montréal, QC, 20-22 June.
  • 2023: ‘Bodies Against Bodies: Mourning, Photography and Hairwork’. Uncommon Senses IV: Sensory Ecologies, Economies, and Aesthetic, Concordia University, Montreal, QC, 3 - 7 May.
  • 2021: ‘When Less is More: Engaging Zoom-Fatigued Students’. University Art Association of Canada Annual Conference 2021, Online, 20-23 October.
  • 2019: ‘What Do You See? What Do You Notice? Utilizing Museum Education Strategies in the College Classroom’. Society For Photographic Education Northeast conference, RISD Museum, Providence, RI, 26-27 October.

  • 2016: ‘An Accidental Department Head: Contingency, Change and the Transfer of Power’. SPACE 2016 conference, Kennesaw State University, Atlanta, GA, 18 June.
  • 2014: ‘Contemporary Legacy Practices’ (invited panelist). New England Portfolio Reviews
  • 2015 Conference, Griffin Museum of Photography, Winchester, MA, 7-8 June.

Selected solo exhibitions as artist (invitational)

  • 2020–2021: Exchange Codes, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA, 11 November – 11 April.
  • 2014: Aura/Ground, Danforth Museum of Art at Framingham State University, Framingham, MA. September 7–November 9.
  • 2014: Notations, Howard Art Project, Dorchester, MA. January 13 – January 31.
  • 2012: Sarah Pollman: Photography, New Art Center in Newton, Newton, MA. November 2 – December 7.

Selected group exhibitions as artist (juried)

  • 2022: Figure in the Landscape, Sargent House Museum, Gloucester, MA, 19 August– 25 September.
  • 2021: A Yellow Rose Project, Staniar Gallery, Washington and Lee University, Lexington, VA, 3 October – 3 November.
  • 2019–2020: Highlights From the Collection, Danforth Museum of Art at Framingham State University, Framingham, MA. Summer–Spring.
  • 2018–2019: RAW, Noyes Museum of Art at Stockton University, Atlantic City, NJ, 28 September 28 – 27 January 27.
  • 2016–2017: Found in Collection, Griffin Museum of Photography, Winchester, MA, 8 December - 1 January.
  • 2016: Beautiful Decay, Danforth Museum of Art at Framingham State University, Framingham, MA. 6 March - 5 June.

  • 2015: Framing Photography, Wheaton College, Norton, MA, 27 February - 10 April.
2015: Facial Expressions, Danforth Museum of Art at Framingham State University, Framingham, MA., 18 January - 1 March.

  • 2014: Of Memory, Bone and Myth, Rourke Art Museum, 18 June - 4 September.
  • 2011: A Taste of Boston, Boston University, Boston, MA, 6-9 April.

Artwork held in permanent collections

  • Bernardi Auto Group, Brighton, MA
  • Danforth Museum of Art, Framingham, MA
  • SGCI Archives in the Zuckerman Museum of Art, Kennesaw, GA
  • Savannah College of Art and Design, Atlanta, GA
  • Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA
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