Coming up…Uncover: Altered Books

Periphery Space @ Paper Nautilus is pleased to announce Uncover: Altered Books. Using pages, the cover or an entire book 38 artists transform a used book into an art piece.

The concept for this show came from its location, the art had to be about the size of a book. What could artists make with an old, discarded book cover? How could a discarded book be re-purposed, re-contextualized, and brought back into a bookstore as something different?

The invitation went out to a large group of local artists and makers. The response was immediate and enthusiastic. Perhaps the appeal is a reflection of the connection artists have with books, with the knowledge they contain, and the role they play in our creative lives.

The artists have chosen a variety of approaches to their pieces: some are painted, cut into, sewn, added to, burned, encased in cement, frozen in the act of opening, and even a performance recorded on video– each piece is a unique discovery. It is remarkable how often each artist ended up making something that is identifiably theirs, an object that feels connected to their larger practice.

Exhibiting artists: Adam Langehough, Alicia Renadette, Angel Dean, Ashley Pelletier, Barbara Owen, Carol Scavotto, David Mazzucchelli, Elizabeth Duffy, Holly Ewald, Irene Lawrence, James Sundquist, Jason Travers, Jenny Brown, Karen Rand Anderson, Karen Roarke, Kirstin Lamb, Kristin Sollenberger, Lynne Harlow, Magaly Ponce, Maggy Allen, Mara Metcalf, Margie Butler, Maria Napolitano, Marjorie Hellman, Markus Berger, Milisa Galazzi, Molly McBride, Neal Walsh, Rebecca Siemering, Richmond Lewis, Sue McNally, Susie Matthews, Suzanne Schireson, Taleen Batalian, Tayo Heuser, Uli Brahmst, Vazira Zamindar, Wendy Wahl.


Paper Nautilus hours:

Monday – Saturday 10-7

Sunday 12-5

For questions and inquiries please contact:

Barbara Owen, curator

Work on view inspired by Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts residency

A few winters ago, I was invited to the Pentaculum at the Arromont School of Arts & Crafts. It was an amazing time, sharing a space with fiber artists from across the country. I spent a lot of time in the library, looking through books while sewing..and then staying to sew while the poets in residence read from their work. I have two pieces on view that were inspired by my stay. Above is Through these wood breathe gold, a set of boxes that stacks and supports each other, within a a handmade fence of sticks. The sticks I gathered from walks in the woods and on the grounds. There was an unfortunate fire in the Smokies later in the year on my stay, so the trees I gathered these from are gone. When I would walk in the evening or look out my window, there were so many twinkling lights peering out front hills in the evening. I started to think about all of the artists and crafters of the past, who spent time there, too. Each of us contributing to the next person’s work, whether personally or not.

This piece is in Telling Her Story Creating the Future: A Women’s History Month Exhibit, March 4-28,  at URI Providence Gallery

Link here.



Tuft Enough, is in Twisting Fibers, An Art for All Reasons, and is at the Blackstone Valley Visitors Center in Pawtucket. This piece is made from hand tufted betting slips from my visits to the local drug store. It was January when I was there and I was thinking about how paper can be source of warmth, that in old houses it was saved in floorboards to keep out the draft. Curated by Anastasia Azure and the Art League of Rhode Island. On display through May 8,

“Twisting Fibers into string is as old as humanity and has contributed to the survival of our species in similarly important ways as food itself. Using our hands in the creation of fiber products is akin of early mark making. Industrialization and its inexpensive mass production have nearly eradicated these fundamental expressions of human evolution. Handwork together with hand writing arelosing their relevance as our hands are trapped at keyboards and on screens. Nevertheless, fiber art has gained renewed interest, and as much as it is a remnant of the past it is claiming its place in the future as a mindful creative process practiced by most diverse communities and individuals all over the world.

As time itself has become one of the hottest commodities of the 21st century, the labor intense and time consuming nature of handwork stands in stark contrast to the increasing rush that consumes so many of today’s industrialized societies. This imbues handwork with a new value. We can see in a handmade object that time slowed down, which in turn creates a sense of restorative pause. We enter a world where the process cannot be rushed or forced but where the maker had to submit to the inherent nature of handwork, a meditative creative process integrating body, soul and spirit.”

Link here.

Interview with Brainard Carey

I had a lovely conversation with Brainard Carey about my work, recent shows, art school and what I am reading. Many thanks to Brainard for including me in his auditory catalog of artists, as I listen to his show, and have taken some advice here and there from his newsletter: Interview here.


Honored to be included at this exhibition at Wheaton College, curated by Elizabeth Keithline. On view, is something new, but I have thought about for a long time. I used lottery and scratch tickets, betting slips(all found) and transformed them into paper of several kinds, to represent the give and take of luck and life. There are two wall pieces, Is it rain or a chain? and Race to the top.

More HERE if you plan to go.

Well-Suited Senator

siemering_senatorimg_3962When I was asked to create a portrait of Senator Tammy Baldwin for In Her Hands, I researched her life, her work in the Senate and imagery from the state of Wisconsin. I wanted to make a panoply of imagery and words, in my usual style of threads and small parts to make a suit that gave an impression of strength.

In thinking about the construction, a few things were on my mind. The portraits of former President Obama and the First lady had been unveiled. I remember a bit of public disbelief at the contemporary portraits at first. In the President’s (by Kehinde Wiley), the ivy was confusing to some but it spoke to me right away. Men like the former President are here to stay and be counted… among the ivy. Ivy is a  plant that digs in the cracks and can destroy buildings if left to over-run. I thought the imagery to say that people of color were pulling apart the old ways-make way for us, as we are staying and rebuilding the world.

The violet is the state flower of Wisconsin. Violets are not “shrinking” like the old adage. It has a lateral vine, and will take over a yard if left unchecked. It disrupts the suburban lawn and uproots grass. In LGBT history, violets were often given in the early part of the last century as a symbol of love and affiliation among lesbians, a secret code. The Senator is an openly gay person, and part of the LGBT community. Utilizing the flower as some imagery in the piece seemed appropriate.

The anniversary if the 19th Amendment is also coming up. Wisconsin was the first state to ratify the Amendment. I started to think about how the Senator–and really all of the candidates whose portraits are in the show–are the epitome of what these ladies fought for, starved for, went to prison for. I read about making embroidery from scraps to pass the time while incarcerated. I decided to embroider the Senator’s official portrait, and put it on a rosette pin, in the style of a Suffragette pin I had seen. The colors of that movement were purple, white and green–not unlike violets. The pin ruffles I made more “USA” red, white and blue with a background of the Suffragette colors.

For the suit, I started to think of a patch of violets more seriously and took pictures of violets in my neighborhood. Among the violets on the suit I have imagery of Suffragettes, several from Wisconsin. There are a lot of photographs of women protesting but no known names. I purposefully did not include anyone famous, as there were so many who fought without any public recognition. I have them looking out from the violets. Cascading down the jacket are pieces of legislation of the Senator. The pants are made up of close-ups of Suffragettes garb in prison, and violets coming from the bottom. A belt is made of violet postcards from 1890-1920. All of the imagery is die cut photographs, cut into ovals, a nod to scales or portraiture in its shape.

Overall, I want the impression of an armor of images. The portraits of women long past, edging the Senator forward as she is what they wished for.  Women are here to stay in politics.

In Her Hands is up at Robert Mann Gallery until August 17 with many other portraits of progressive women candidates. Get out to vote!

In Her Hands

Detail of Well-Suited Senator, a portrait of Senator Tammy Baldwin for “In Her Hands,” opening tomorrow night, from 6-8 PM at Robert Mann Gallery. This portrait is part of a suit made of several thousand images relating to the Suffragette movement, women of Wisconsin from this time and the words of the Senator. It is an armor of images, a celebration of those who have passed and wished for women running for office, brought it present through sheer will, and whom Senator Baldwin honors with her present efforts. On view will be portraits of progressive women candidates running for office this summer and fall, by fifteen women artists from across the country. Show runs through August 17th.

More about the work in the show and the candidates here.

In Her Hands

June 14 – August 17, 2018
Opening Reception: Thursday, June 14, 6 – 8pm

Please join me at the Robert Mann Gallery for In Her Hands, “a group show curated by Orly Cogan and Julie Peppito. This exhibition comes at a unique and timely period in history. Women in art and politics find themselves on parallel roads facing the urgent need to assert that we are all connected and embrace empowerment over traditional male systems of dominant power, where all humans regardless of gender, race or class will benefit. This exhibition will focus on combining craft materials, that define the powerful domestic history of feminine art forms, with portraits of progressive women candidates who are running in the 2018 elections, including Cynthia Nixon, Elizabeth Warren and Maxine Waters. Cogan and Peppito understand that “by curating a show that elevates women in art and politics, it asserts that women’s work, which has historically referred to undervalued activities like cooking, child care and sewing, are extremely valuable but are also only a part of what women’s work means today.” Conceptually the show inspires female artists to create work that highlights other women who are working to advance their communities, their country….” In Her Hands Press release

In Her Hands features work by Alice Beasley, Orly Cogan, Laurel Garcia Colvin, Maria De Los Angeles, Jane Waggoner Deschner, Susan Graham, Kate Kretz, Jess Larson, Diane Meyer, Marilyn Mcbrier Artus, Julie Peppito, Leisa Rich, Alicia Ross, Rebecca Siemering, Melissa Zexter

In Her Hands

I am currently working on a handmade suit that is part ode to the Suffragettes, and a portrait for an exhibition this summer. More details to follow, but a few shots from the progress.


Glitter, Gold, Neon…

So excited and pleased to be a part of several exhibitions in Virginia, Washington and Tennessee. The Golden Shoes, pictured below, won Staff Pick at Gallery One Visual Arts Center, in Ellenburg Washington.

Nature and Neon

Ruff Neck, 2017 is in Nature and Neon at the Arromont School of Arts and Crafts until March 3, 2018.



Nature and Neon is a national juried exhibition organized by Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts. This year’s theme invited submissions that explore juxtapositions between the natural and the artificial worlds. Arrowmont itself is geographically located where the natural and the constructed worlds converge, and is also an environment that fosters artistic creation and education. Chosen by juror, Garth Johnson, the works selected for the exhibition consider what is natural, what is unnatural, and how the intersection of both may attempt to realize its own disparate beauty. Parts whimsical and sobering, Nature and Neon offers introspection into what these artists observe about our contemporary relationship to the landscape.

Garth Johnson, curator of ceramics at the ASU Art Museum in Tempe, Arizona, selected 47 works created by 46 artists, from 189 submissions for consideration. The final selection of artists include works spanning all media, with a wide variety of approaches to the exhibition’s theme.


Ruff Neck, 2017. Found lottery tickets, metal finds and Czech glass beads.

Photo by Erik Gould.