Originally a suburban Detroit-native, Whitney Lea Sage is a Chicago-based artist and an Assistant Professor of Art who joined North Central College in Fall of 2019. Previously, Whitney served as Assistant Professor of Art at Siena Heights University and Lecturer of Art at Ohio University and at North Central, Whitney teaches a variety of courses in painting, drawing, and printmaking. Whitney received a Bachelor degrees in Studio Art: Painting and Art Education from Miami University and earned a Master of Fine Arts degree from the Sam Fox School of Art & Design at Washington University in St. Louis.
As a native Midwesterner, the rich cultural heritage of Rust Belt cities and their relevance the “American way of life” have always informed Whitney's multidisciplinary art practice which includes painting, drawing, fibers, sculpture and installation. Midwestern cities are places of increasing cultural relevance with parallels to larger American struggles, big industry and suburban migration leaving behind empty storefronts, ghostly architectural skeletons and scarred empty plots of land. Her work often focuses on architecture as language to discuss urban history, the current challenges facing cities and the hotly contested visions for their future. In attempting to connect viewers of the work to the issues surrounding the city on a personal level, Whitney's work often has allusions to the domestic interior of the home as a metaphor for the psychological interior, the root of emotional longing and nostalgia for place. While her practice is rooted in a deeply personal experience growing up in a rust belt city, the work seeks to appeal to many through universal notions of home, loss, hope and the protective impulse that we share for the people and places we love.
Whitney's work has been exhibited nationally at The Painting Center in NYC, Superfront LA, UICA, the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, the Muskegon Museum of Art, The Kennedy Museum of Art, The Contemporary Dayton and the Lexington Art League. Whitney's work has been featured in WomanArts Quarterly, Hour Detroit Magazine, Chaleur Magazine and Newfound Journal and has completed residencies at Vermont Studio Center, Wave Pool Gallery and Popp's Packing.