University of South Florida

School of Art & Art History

USF College of The Arts

Sarah Howard

Interim Director School of Art & Art History
Phone: (813) 974-2360
Office: FAH 229

Sarah Howard’s creative research explores the intersections of art, social and environmental justice. For over two decades, Howard has contributed across the USF Institute of Research in Art’s platforms–the Contemporary Art Museum, Graphicstudio, and the Public Art Program–to produce, commission, and exhibit contemporary artists’ projects. 

Building on her background in studio art, Howard has collaborated with invited artists and the Graphicstudio production team to direct the atelier’s digital print and sculpture initiatives. Howard has advanced Graphicstudio’s mission to expand artists’ practice in new directions, managing several successful projects with Diana Al-Hadid, Jim Campbell, Christian Marclay, Allan McCollum, Trenton Doyle Hancock, and Los Carpinteros, among others. 

Howard has served as the Curator of Public Art and Social Practice since 2013. In this role, she administers Florida’s Art in State Buildings Program across the three USF campuses. Howard works with national and local partners–artists, galleries, city agencies, and civic organizations–to present exhibitions, social practice projects, and public art installations that create connections between disciplines and cultivate opportunities for shared experiences that engage and build community. 

Howard’s curatorial projects include Contemporary Art Museum exhibitions Flights of Fancy: Duke Riley (2017), FloodZone: Anastasia Samoylova (2020), Sponge Exchange: Hope Ginsburg (2020), Marking Monuments (2021), and the Tampa Bay triennial Skyway 20/21 A Contemporary Collaboration (2021) presented in partnership with regional art institutions. 

Additionally, Howard has directed the Florida Art In State Building public art selection processes and permanent commissions for Caelum Dust (2016) by Tomás Saraceno, The Invisible Telescope (2018) by Sandra Cinto, Three Arcs (2022) by Jim Campbell, and Notes on a Landscape (in Repose) (2023) by Elisabeth Condon. Expanding the public art program, she also led the temporary flag installations of SOS Color Code 2020//Luftwerk and Normal (2020) and the year-long rotating flag series Pledges of Allegiance in partnership with NY-based public art agency Creative Time (2017-18).

Howard has also managed several socially-engaged projects that raise visibility and awareness of contemporary social and environmental issues, including Tabula Rasa (Tampa) (2022) and Muro (2019) by Bosco Sodi, Land Dive Team: Tarpon Springs (2020) with Hope Ginsburg, For Freedoms 50 State Initiative (2018), and Pedro Reyes’ Amendment to the Amendment: (Under)stand Your Ground (2014). With funding from a NEA Art Works grant, Howard directed the community-based project The Music Box: Tampa Bay (2016) with the art collective New Orleans Airlift, which brought national artists to Tampa to work with local artists and USF College of The Arts students to design and build a performative musical architecture village along the banks of the Hillsborough River in partnership with local arts education non-profit Community Stepping Stones. 

Howard also directs the USF Contemporary Art Museum’s expansion initiative GENERATOR. Based on the USF St. Petersburg campus, GENERATOR is an incubator of new ideas and a place for expanded artistic experimentation, primarily focused on the moving image and time-based contemporary art. In the fall of 2024, GENERATOR will present its inaugural exhibition, This Is The Tip Of The Iceberg, with the Copenhagen-based art collective SUPERFLEX.