Sage Dawson is an artist and curator whose work examines the politics of housing and labor inherent to the American city. Her work addresses issues facing sites including the erasure of vernacular architecture, invisible borders, and care as a form of protest. Embedding into the topography of the built environment, her work signals an ever-changing and expanding politics of space. She’s drawn to analog approaches to technology, and explores ways of making that typify domestic labor: banner-making, needlepoint, open-work, patterning, and sewing. Engaging in these means of production activates, realizes, and archives their specific history.
Dawson is currently the co-director at both STNDRD in Granite City, Illinois, a public art project examining the power and potential of flags; and NON STNDRD in Sauget, Illinois, two adjacent exhibition spaces on the National Building Arts Center campus that formerly served as steel casting sand bunkers. She earned an MFA with a museum studies minor from the University of New Mexico, and a BFA from Missouri State University. She has curated exhibitions at The Luminary (St. Louis), Loyola Marymount University (Los Angeles), ACRE Projects (Steuben, Wisconsin), the Terrain Biennial (Springfield, Illinois), and Dalton Warehouse (Los Angeles).
Dawson has exhibited, lectured, and presented work at various sites including the Center for Contemporary Printmaking Norwalk, the NARS Foundation, the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts Project Space/Printed Matter, the Urban Institute for Contemporary Art, the Pulitzer Arts Foundation, the Chicago Artists Coalition, the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, Ortega y Gasset (Brooklyn), Tate Exchange, Boston University School of Visual Arts, the Terrain Biennial, Practise (Chicago), Super Duchess (New York), the Saint Louis Art Museum, Laumeier Sculpture Park, the Springfield Art Museum, The Luminary, the City University of New York, the Counterpublic Triennial, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Toledo Center for the Visual Arts, Minnesota Center for Book Arts, Work - Detroit, and the International Print Center New York.
Dawson is a recent recipient of a Futures Fund regranting initiative awarded by the Luminary and funded by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. She is also the recipient of the creative stimulus award from Critical Mass for the Visual Arts St. Louis, a research travel grant from the Mid America Print Council, and is a Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant nominee. She has completed residencies at ACRE, the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, the Cité international des arts in Paris, Zygote Press, the Luminary, and Vermont Studio Center. She was awarded the Denbo Fellowship at Pyramid Atlantic, and has previously worked in collaboration at the Tamarind Institute.
Dawson’s work has appeared in Art in America, Elephant Magazine, From Here to There (published by Princeton Architectural Press), New Art Examiner, New City Art, Saint Louis Public Radio, 60 Wrd/Min Art Critic, Art in Print, Dwell Magazine, and Hyperallergic.