timeline

born 1979

Sarah Lewis is by all accounts a highly successful overachiever. Besides being a noted curator in the art world and a widely published scholar in academia, she's also a charismatic keynoter on the public-speaking circuit. 

It may be surprising, then, that this art historian has made a name for herself as an advocate for the power of failure. Sarah has a book out that is quickly popularizing her inspirational ideas, using provocative stories to illustrate the transformational potential that we can unlock when we learn to embrace our misadventures and turn them towards mastery rather than success.

bio bits

her quotes

all quotes by Sarah Lewis (15)

"We don't have a common dance in American culture...a way for people to engage physically. It would go a long way if we all understood how to swing dance again."

Sarah Lewis Co-Curates the SITE Santa Fe Biennial | april 2010

"Art is foundational for life, not just something that enriches or embellishes it."

Sarah Lewis Co-Curates the SITE Santa Fe Biennial | april 2010

"What really inspires me is seeing what someone is willing to sacrifice for, what they care about in this life, because through that you see what someone loves."

Levo League's Office Hours | february 2014

"The gift of failure is a riddle. Like the number zero, it will always be both the void and the start of infinite possibility."

The Rise | march 2014

"Mastery is not merely a commitment to a goal, but to a curved-line, constant pursuit."

The Rise | march 2014

"We thrive, in part, when we have purpose, when we still have more to do."

The Rise | march 2014

"Having disempowered what threatens to do us the most harm, we are shored up with the knowledge that nothing else can truly harm us."

The Rise | march 2014

"Mastery is in the reaching, not the arriving."

How to embrace the near win | march 2014

"Success is a moment, but what we're always celebrating is creativity and mastery."

Embrace the near win | march 2014

"Mastery is about sacrificing for your craft, and not for the sake of crafting your career. How many inventors and untold entrepreneurs live out this phenomenon?"

Embrace the near win | march 2014

"Success motivates us, but a near win can propel us in an ongoing quest."

Embrace the near win | march 2014

"We thrive when we stay at our own leading edge."

Embrace the near win | march 2014

"There's so many cases where aesthetic force—more than rational argument alone—has been what has turned the tide in the face of massive injustice."

How Art Can Change Society, with Sarah Lewis | june 2014

"I see [art] as a galvanic force that undergirds some of our most impactful changes."

How Art Can Change Society, with Sarah Lewis | june 2014

"How can half the population of the world—women—live out their right to be empowered personally and professionally?"

The ELLE Agenda | december 2014
  • Quotabelle profile
  • Sarah Lewis

curated with care by Alicia Williamson {september 2014}