Sara Schneckloth

Greetings. I'm a practicing professional artist and professor, with over twenty years of experience in the studio, curating, and exhibiting artwork worldwide. I teach a range of techniques on how to translate natural form and color through drawing, emphasizing close observation and impressionistic reaction in color and mark, working across mediums. In 2014, I came to New Mexico to draw intensively in the landscape for two months, and have been digging deeper ever since. In 2017, I built my drawing studio here, and began teaching site-specific workshops in 2018. 

My studio practice began in the 1990s in San Francisco - since then, I've created and shown artwork in over 80 group and solo exhibitions in the US, UK, South Africa, Norway, and France, held numerous residency fellowships, and led drawing workshops across the US, in London, Cape Town, and at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I publish essays on drawing theory and practice, and curate the Seed Cultures Archive, a digital project in conversation with the Svalbard Global Seed Vault. With degrees from Northwestern and the University of Wisconsin, I hold tenure at the University of South Carolina, where I head the drawing studio program. 

Why I do this...

In 2017, I broke ground for my drawing studio just outside the small town of Regina, New Mexico, about 20 miles northeast of Cuba. While Agnes Martin’s appearance in Cuba in 1968 didn’t directly influence my decision to build the area, I feel a kinship to her in the act of working in such close proximity across the years, sharing company with the same sandstone mesas, canyons, piñon and juniper trees.  While my immersion is in no way as total as hers, I hope to think that for the time I am here each year, I can come closer to realizing the kind of artwork that reflects the raw wonder and nuanced beauty of Northern New Mexico.

I live for nine months out of the year in Columbia, South Carolina; in summer, I am in the Nacimiento Mountains, making mixed media drawings that combine geology and biology, forms that echo both our natural and built environments.  When asked if “artwork comes from the head or the heart,” I firmly believe it is both, the body and mind fully engaged in the act of seeing, feeling, moving, and making. In my practice, drawing is an intimate act of vision and touch combined, leaving a mark that echoes and builds upon a lived experience. 

I believe the discipline of drawing allows for a physical space to nurture ideas as they form and evolve, and is uniquely suited to express our most immediate and ineffable sensations. Through my studio practice, and now these site-specific workshops, I deepen my commitment to translate into drawing the light, texture, and space that are the hallmarks of this place. 


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Badlands Flyover, 2019, earth pigment, ink, wax, colored pencil.