Phoenix Savage recently retired from Tougaloo College where she was an Associate Professor of Art and has relocated to Santa Fe, where she operates a small but highly successful grants management service for nonprofits. In addition to maintaining a studio practice as a sculptor, Savage directs the Santa Fe Community Yoga Center’s Yoga in Prison Project, now in its second year.
Savage received a Master of Fine Arts in Sculpture from Georgia State University and holds two additional graduate-level degrees: Medical Anthropology from the University of Mississippi, and Art History from Northwestern State University. Savage received her undergraduate degree in Photography from Mississippi Valley State University, as well as having a degree in Advertising Design from the Art Institute of Philadelphia.
She is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships. She has received the Scholar-in-Residence award from New York University on three separate occasions for her research on Euphemia Toussaint, a Haitian American who left behind the only child’s perspective of 19th-century New York City.
Savage received the 2019 Humanities Council of Mississippi Teacher of the Year Award. In 2012 Savage was awarded the Being Humans Fellowship from the Institute of Arts and Humanities at Penn State University where she inaugurated the Human Touch Project. The United States’ State Department awarded Savage a Fulbright Fellowship in 2011 where she spent a year in Nigeria conducting research on the Yoruba concept of Ori, (human head) while also investigating metal casting in the ancient city of Ile-Ife. Savage also taught at Obafemi Awolowo University during her time in Nigeria. Savage maintains her relationship with Africa as Chief Yeye Olomo Osara of Ile-Ife, Nigeria where she is a contributing member of the Osara community. Here in the United States, Savage maintains her devotion to Osara, serving as psychic medium channeling Osara, the maternal essence of water.
Savage is widely known for her cultural writings: Peju’s Indigo appearing in the art catalog for the exhibition Peju Layiwola, Indigo Reimagined; University of Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria, 2019 and I Declare for the works of Tina M. Dunkley, Sanctuary for the Internal Enemy: An Ancestral Odyssey published by Wilmer Jennings Gallery of Kenkeleba House, New York, NY. Other works by Savage have appeared in the Encyclopedia of Slavery and Resistance, the Encyclopedia of the Blues, and the Encyclopedia of Mississippi. Savage has published two books: African Americans of Jackson, 2009 and African Americans of New Orleans, 2010, featuring community histories of two iconic cities in America.
In addition to her scholarship Savage maintains a strong record of national exhibits and art residencies. In 2022 Savage was the recipient of the REVOLUTION Artist in Residency with the Santa Fe Art Institute.