See all Grant & Fellowship Recipients

Sarah Elizabeth Cornejo

2022 Tennessee Fellow and Southern Prize Finalist

Southern Prize Finalist

Sarah Elizabeth Cornejo

Recipient Information


Memphis, Tennessee



Year of Award


Grant or Fellowship

Southern Prize and State Fellowships

Grant Amount


Artist Statement and Biography

Sarah Elizabeth Cornejo’s sculptural work utilizes the possibilities within hybridity to speak of a hypothetical place where humans have evolved into hybrid beings with animals, insects, and discarded human-made materials. The resulting physical evolution of this voluntary merging challenges social discomfort around bodies that are not easily categorized by blurring the boundaries between animal and human, living and dead, animate and inanimate. She uses Latin-American history, abject theory, and environmental distress to investigate notions of human exceptionalism, as well as humanity’s trajectory. Drawing upon her own experiences, her work investigates identities that straddle cultures and utilizes that hybrid state as an opportunity for reckoning. The resulting sculptural narrative aims to disrupt notions of human hierarchy, testing the phenomenon between humanity, mammality and technology in a chimeric future.


Sarah Elizabeth Cornejo is an interdisciplinary artist based in Memphis, TN. She is currently a co-founder and co-curator of BASEMENT, a provisional artist-run space in Chapel Hill, NC. Her work has been shown throughout the eastern United States and internationally including the Mint Museum, Ackland Art Museum, and Duke University among others. She received her MFA in Interdisciplinary Studio from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and her BA in Studio Art and English Literature from Davidson College. She was most recently a ten month resident at Crosstown Arts, a 2021 New Public Sculpture Fellow with the Urban Arts Commission in Memphis, and a 2021 recipient of TriStar Arts’ inaugural Current Art Fund project grant.