Sarah Christianson grew up on a four-generation family farm in the heart of eastern North Dakota’s Red River Valley. Immersed in that vast expanse of the Great Plains, she developed a strong affinity for its landscape. This connection to place has had a profound effect on her work: despite moving to San Francisco in 2009, she continues to document the subtleties and nuances of the Midwestern landscape and experience through long-term projects.
Christianson earned an MFA in photography from the University of Minnesota. Her work has been exhibited internationally and can be found in the collections of Duke University, the National Museum of Photography in Copenhagen, and several institutions in the Midwest. She has received grants from the San Francisco Arts Commission and the Center for Cultural Innovation. Christianson’s first book, Homeplace (Daylight Books, Fall 2013), documents the history and uncertain future of her family’s farm by interweaving her images with old snapshots and historical documents culled from her personal archive. Her current project, When the Landscape is Quiet Again, examines the oil boom occurring in western North Dakota. Throughout her work, she uses her personal experiences and connection to the land to evoke a strong sense of place, history, and time.
Since 2012, Sarah has been documenting the legacy of oil booms and busts in my home state of North Dakota.
Sarah has taught at the Academy of Art University (San Francisco), RayKo Photo Center (San Francisco), and the University of Minnesota (Minneapolis).