Sarah Urist Green
Green in 2023
Sarah Urist

(1979-10-03) October 3, 1979 (age 44)
Alma materNorthwestern University (BA)
Columbia University (MA)
(m. 2006)
RelativesHank Green (brother-in-law)

Sarah Urist Green (née Urist; born October 3, 1979)[1][2] is an American art museum curator, author, and creator and host of PBS Digital Studios program The Art Assignment and Ours Poetica. Green spent seven years curating exhibitions at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, and has freelanced as a curator for other institutions. She is married to author John Green, who serves as an executive producer for The Art Assignment and Ours Poetica.

Early life and education

Green is originally from Washington, D.C., and grew up in Birmingham, Alabama.[1] She attended Indian Springs School outside of Birmingham at the same time as her future husband John Green, though they did not become friends until they became reacquainted in the early 2000s.[3] She earned a bachelor's degree from Northwestern University.[4] Green moved to the Upper West Side in New York City in 2005 with her then-fiancée John Green while she earned her master's degree in art history from Columbia University.[5][6][7][8][3][9]


Indianapolis Museum of Art (2007–2013)

Starting in 2007, Green worked as a curator for the Indianapolis Museum of Art.[10] While there, she curated the exhibitions "Andy Warhol Enterprises" and "Graphite", among others, and commissioned numerous works for the museum.[11][12][13][14] Green curated the first full-scale retrospective of the work of Chinese activist and artist Ai Weiwei in the United States.[15][16] She was also the co-developer of the museum's Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park: 100 Acres.[14] Green left the museum in 2013,[17] stating in an interview with NUVO, "I feel very comfortable saying that my vision doesn't align with (CEO Charles) Venable's. It's kind of a blessing in disguise for me because if I hadn't been compelled to leave there, I wouldn't be in the place I am right now."[18]

The Art Assignment and other projects (2014–present)

On February 20, 2014, Green launched The Art Assignment, a PBS and Complexly video series in which artists encourage viewers to imitate their creative exercises.[19][1][10] The series began with episodes that introduced viewers to practicing artists across the United States. After sharing background information about the artist and historical context for their work, Green invited the artists "assign" an art project to viewers following particular instructions.[20] Follow-up "highlights" videos featuring examples of user-submitted work were also posted, and Gallery 924 in Indianapolis held an exhibit of The Art Assignment work in August 2016.[21] As the series evolved, Green branched out into different formats for the channel, including a popular series on "Art Cooking," in which she recreates recipes from famous artists such as Frida Kahlo and Salvador Dalí.[22] There are also videos that focus on "The Case For" or "Better Know" particular artists or pieces, such as Andy Warhol, in which Green brings her art critic skills to bear on explaining and analyzing well-known staples of the art world.[20][23]

In 2015 and 2016, Green was a juror for the 3D category of the ArtPrize competition, as well as for ArtPrize's Pitch Night event.[24][25]

In September 2019, Sarah, in collaboration with her husband John Green and the Poetry Foundation, launched the YouTube channel "Ours Poetica". The channel features videos of poets, celebrities, and others reading poems they like. Poet Paige Lewis acted as the curator of the channel for the first season and Kaveh Akbar also work on the channel. Featured readers have included Shailene Woodley, Ashley C. Ford, Emily Graslie, and Samin Nosrat, among others.[26][27]

Green adapted the video assignments from The Art Assignment into a book, You Are an Artist: Assignments to Spark Creation, released on April 14, 2020. The book featured forty assignments adapted from the video series and thirteen newly commissioned prompts. Released during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, Green hosted a series of virtual events instead of a traditional book tour.[28][29][30] Later that year, she announced The Art Assignment YouTube channel would be going on an indefinite hiatus.[31][32]

In late 2022, Green served on the curatorial team for the second "Butter" fine art fair hosted by Indianapolis cultural development firm Ganggang.[32][33][34][35]

Personal life

Sarah and her husband John Green in 2008

Sarah Urist Green met John Green when they both attended the same preparatory school in Indian Springs, Alabama.[3] They became reacquainted eight years later in Chicago, when John began dating Sarah's boxing partner; after they broke up, John became friends with Sarah.[8] Urist became engaged to Green on April 22, 2005,[3] and the two married on May 21, 2006.[36] They have two children.[8]

In his early videos on the Vlogbrothers YouTube channel, John often referred to Sarah as "the yeti", because while she was talked about frequently in his videos, by her own request she did not appear on camera.[8][37] As John's internet presence grew into a career and Sarah's own professional life developed, she grew more comfortable in front of the camera, stating in an interview in 2013, "I'm ready now to acknowledge now that I'm no longer really 'The Yeti,' but I'm a full person."[38]


  1. ^ a b c Harry, Lou (February 1, 2014). "2014 Forty Under 40: Sarah Urist Green". Indianapolis Business Journal. Archived from the original on October 23, 2014. Retrieved April 5, 2023.
  2. ^ "Oct. 2nd: Brotherhood 2.0 on the Road (Literally)". YouTube. Retrieved April 18, 2021.
  3. ^ a b c d "Countdown to Bliss". The Observer. November 7, 2005. Retrieved October 31, 2015.
  4. ^ "Sarah Urist Green". Archived from the original on November 22, 2015. Retrieved October 31, 2015.
  5. ^ Corbett, Sue (June 24, 2005). "Spring 2005 Flying Starts: John Green". Retrieved October 10, 2022.
  6. ^ Mendelsohn, Aline (February 21, 2005). "From last words to first books". The Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved August 15, 2022.
  7. ^ May, Ethan (February 1, 2019). "'Spectacular in our ordinariness': How John Green rated Indianapolis in a new podcast episode". The Indianapolis Star. Retrieved September 26, 2022.
  8. ^ a b c d Talbot, Margaret (June 9, 2014). "The Teen Whisperer". The New Yorker. Retrieved October 31, 2015.
  9. ^ Spalding, Julia (December 31, 2015). "John Green Finally Goes To The Movies!". Indianapolis Monthly. Retrieved June 7, 2022.
  10. ^ a b Lindquist, David (February 17, 2014). "Will you accept Sarah Urist Green's 'Art Assignment'?". Indianapolis Star. Retrieved October 31, 2015.
  11. ^ Kightlinger, Cathy (October 3, 2010). "Andy Inc". Indy Living. The Indianapolis Star. Retrieved August 15, 2022.
  12. ^ "Archives". Retrieved June 7, 2022.
  13. ^ "IMA set to debut Andy Warhol exhibit". WTHR. October 8, 2010. Retrieved June 9, 2022.
  14. ^ a b Pinegar, Laura (January 17, 2014). "Sarah Urist Green Has a New Frame of Mind". Indianapolis Monthly. Retrieved October 31, 2015.
  15. ^ Schrader, Michael (April 5, 2013). "Photos: Ai Weiwei Exhibit Now Open at IMA". Indianapolis Monthly. Retrieved June 6, 2022.
  16. ^ Shoger, Scott (April 8, 2013). "Ai Weiwei: According to What? at the IMA". NUVO. Retrieved June 6, 2022.
  17. ^ Lindquist, David. "Sarah Green exiting IMA to develop PBS series". The Indianapolis Star. Retrieved June 2, 2022.
  18. ^ Shoger, Scott. "Personnel losses mount at IMA". NUVO. Retrieved May 26, 2022.
  19. ^ Lindquist, David (August 2, 2016). "'The Art Assignment' takes side trip into physical realm". The Indianapolis Star. Retrieved October 19, 2022.
  20. ^ a b Grossman, Dan (November 7, 2018). "Sarah Urist Green's Evolving Art Assignment". NUVO. Retrieved July 29, 2019.
  21. ^ Lindquist, David (August 8, 2016). "'The Art Assignment' takes side trip into physical realm". Indianapolis Star. Retrieved July 29, 2019.
  22. ^ Campos, Jocelyn (December 23, 2018). "PBS' 'The Art Assignment' Combines Humor with Art History". Study Breaks. Retrieved July 29, 2019.
  23. ^ Bahr, Sarah (February 1, 2019). "Five Years Of "The Art Assignment"". Indianapolis Monthly. Retrieved July 29, 2019.
  24. ^ Kaczmarczyk, Jeffrey (September 28, 2015). "Newcomers dominate ArtPrize 2015 Jurors' Shortlist". Retrieved November 1, 2015.
  25. ^ Chen, Wei-Huan (March 31, 2016). "ArtPrize's Pitch Night returns to Indianapolis Museum of Art". Indianapolis Star. Retrieved April 9, 2016.
  26. ^ Johnson, Steve (September 11, 2019). "How to reach people with poetry? 'Fault in Our Stars' author John Green, Chicago Poetry Foundation are trying YouTube". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved June 7, 2022.
  27. ^ "Poetry Foundation and Complexly announce new Ours Poetica Co-Curators". August 1, 2021. Retrieved June 7, 2022.
  28. ^ Lindquist, David. "Indy art historian's 'You Are an Artist' book supplies ideas, and readers supply effort". The Indianapolis Star. Retrieved June 7, 2022.
  29. ^ "The Art Angle Podcast: YouTube's No-Nonsense Art Guru on How to Unlock Your Inner Artist". Artnet News. May 14, 2020. Retrieved June 7, 2022.
  30. ^ Johnson, LA (April 10, 2020). "An Illustrated Guide: 5 Art Projects To Try During Social Distancing". NPR. Retrieved June 7, 2022.
  31. ^ Urist Green, Sarah. "Why I'm Slowing Down". YouTube. Retrieved August 26, 2022.
  32. ^ a b Lindquist, Dave (August 25, 2022). "Sarah Urist Green joins Butter team to help elevate Indianapolis artists". Indianapolis Business Journal. Retrieved August 26, 2022.
  33. ^ Bongiovanni, Domenica (August 31, 2022). "'Butter' art fair is back this weekend, and it'll be three times as big as last year's". The Indianapolis Star. Retrieved September 2, 2022.
  34. ^ Harris, Shakkira (August 29, 2022). "Everything you need to know for the BUTTER 2 Fine Art Fair". WRTV. Retrieved September 2, 2022.
  35. ^ Bahr, Sarah (November 29, 2022). "2 Years After Racism Outcry, Indianapolis Embraces Black Artists". The New York Times. Retrieved November 29, 2022.
  36. ^ "May 21st: Comment Bashing, Anniversaries and EBO Ladies". Vlogbrothers. May 21, 2007. Retrieved October 31, 2015.
  37. ^ "John Green's tumblr • Why do you refer to your wife as "The Yeti"? Just". Archived from the original on March 19, 2016. Retrieved February 9, 2016.
  38. ^ Bennett, Alanna (September 28, 2013). "We Talk to John Green About His New Project". Bustle. Retrieved July 29, 2019.