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Sarah Cunningham

Atkinson Gallery Director

Art History Professor

Meet Sarah Cunningham

Sarah Cunningham is director of the Atkinson Gallery in the Art Department at Santa Barbara City College where she also teaches Visual Literacy and Exhibition Practices. During her career, she has curated over 45 contemporary art exhibitions including Inherited Traits: Nina Katchadourian & Heidi KumaoWillie Cole: Solo Exhibition and Suspension: Claudia Pérez-Pavón. She previously served as the director of the College of New Jersey Art Gallery, the curator of exhibitions and public programs at the Alice Austen House Museum and the executive director/curator of the Albany Center Galleries. Cunningham received her BA in American Studies from Tufts University and her MFA in Art Photography from Syracuse University.


1990, BA, American Studies, Tufts University, Medford, MA
1994, MFA, Art Photography, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY

Courses Taught

ART 101: Visual Literacy

ART 189: Exhibition Practices

Academic Interests

Contemporary Art, History & Practice of Photography, Gallery & Museum Studies

Teaching Philosophy

"Art is an essential part of society that gives voice, creates dialogue and exposes us to new ideas."

Professional Experience / Focus

Curator, Teaching Artist, Cook for Traveling Kids Circus

Personal Interests

Art, Cooking, Reading


Atkinson Gallery Website:

Personal Website:

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