Short Documentary made for Olympia, Washigton bead artist, Teresa Sullivan. Filming and Editing by Ian Lucero.  Music by Jherek Bischoff.  2009

Biography

Why do I use such a delicate, shiny, traditionally feminine medium to make grimacing monster heads, eyeballs, lunging women? 

I love the surreal and the irreverent, and weaving these themes into sculptural pieces gives me a place to express my fascination and admiration for box-busters and envelope-pushers.  These tapestries, jewelry and sculpture share stories of connection, unfolding, and discovery, from ordinary people to superheroes to my mentors.  I use ancient weaving techniques transform tiny, delicate glass beads into bold, self supporting artworks.

I may or may not have a specific idea for a particular piece before I string my first bead, but my mode of working allows for discovery throughout the process.  Sometimes the piece tells me what to do next, sometimes I call the shot.  The best pieces have been the ones done with the least preconceptions.

I use wide variety of stitches from around the world, each stitch giving a different texture and sculptural capabilities to the work.  Peyote or gourd stitch allows me to create dense, structrually sound artworks which have intricate details and specific shaping. Hexagons, diamonds and irregular shapes in two and three dimensions are made with netting and other open weaves. Ndbele weave has a distinctive chevron/herringbone pattern, and like the other stitches I use is adapted for both two and three dimensional work.  Right angle weave gives me control over the flexibility of the beaded fabric, from very flexible to stiff.

I use mainly glass beads as well as found materials.  Color is a language unto its own, and I will often work around size constraints (e.g., if a color is only available in one certain size) if the color, including the style and texture of a color---fits the piece.

Some of the glass beads I use are over 100 years old.  I am fascinated about the history of beads, their use in colonization and trade, their durability, and the memories people attach to them.  Certain beads have a presence, even mojo.

The main purpose of this type of artwork for me is its narrative possibilities, overt or implicit.  Structural considerations and uses tell as much a story as the representation of the "real" world , and symbolic/structural narrative is literally woven together with representative imagery.

Selected Exhibitions

2018
The Earring Show, Craft Council of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada
The Circuitry of Joyce J. Scott:  A Group Exhibition of Innovation and Collaboration, Craft in America Center, Los Angeles, CA
39th Annual Contemporary Crafts, Mesa Arts Center, Mesa, AZ.  Juror:  Bruce Hoffman

2017
World on a String, Mobilia Gallery, Cambridge, MA
Wearable Expressions:  7th International Juried Exhibition, Associate's Choice Award, Palos Verdes Art Center, Palos Verdes, CA. 

2016
Strung Together, Museum of Natural and Cultural History, Eugene, OR

2015
BEAD, Greater Reston Arts Center, Reston, VA.  Catalog

2013
Craft Forms 2013, Juror's Award, Wayne Art Center, Wayne, PA.  Juror:  Lena Vigna
Brooch Show, Racine Arts Council, Racine, WI

2012
Collaborations, Museum of Contemporary Craft, Portland, OR

2011
The Teapot Redefined, Mobilia Gallery, Cambridge, MA

2010
Solo exhibition: Station Identification, Mesa Arts Center, Mesa, AZ
Elements, Walters Cultural Art Center, Hillsboro, OR.  Catalog
10 x 10, Portland City Hall, Portland, OR
Guardino Gallery, Portland, OR

2009
30th Annual Contemporary Crafts, Mesa Arts Center, Mesa, AZ.  Juror’s Choice Award winner.  Catalog.  Juror:  Namita Gupta Wiggers
Transformation, Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, Pittsburgh, PA
Dia de los Muertos, Guardino Gallery, Portland, OR
Pacific Northwest Sculptors, Guardino Gallery, Portland, OR
Beadwork VI:  The Beaded Book, traveling exhibit

2008
Wearable Expressions, Palos Verdes Art Center, Palos Verdes, CA
Zenten Invitational Exhibition, Tokyo Art Metropolitan Museum, Tokyo, Japan

2007
Solo exhibition.  Beads and Light:  Dimensional Beadwork, Beet Gallery, Portland, OR
Craft Forms 2007, Wayne Art Center, Wayne, PA
Absolutely Beads, Beads & Beyond, Bellevue, WA
Craft Biennial, Oregon College of Art and Craft, Portland, OR
Beadwork V: The Beaded Bag, Museum of Arts & Design, New York, NY
Beaverton Arts Showcase, Beaverton, OR

2006
Craft Forms 2006, Wayne Art Center, Wayne, PA
Bead International 2006, Dairy Barn Cultural Arts Center, Athens, OH

2005
The National Juried Bead and Fiber Exhibit, Delaplaine Visual Arts Education Center, Frederick, MD
Beadwork IV: The Beaded Figure, traveling exhibit

2003
Viva Lucha!, Gallery Bink, Portland, OR

2002
Gods and Monsters, Roq la Rue Gallery, Seattle, WA
Hot Rods and Hot Bods, Gallery Bink, Portland, OR
Kreepy Krafts, Roq la Rue Gallery, Seattle, WA
The Audacious Bead, The Bead Museum, Washington, DC
Bead International 2002, Dairy Barn Arts Center, Athens, OH.  Catalog.
Little Things, Guardino Gallery, Portland, OR

2001
La Petite IX, Alder Gallery, Coburg, OR
Bead Artistry: A Continuing Evolution, Runyan Gallery, Newport, OR
Beading Beyond Boundaries, Newport Visual Arts Center, Newport, OR
Dual artist exhibit, Guardino Gallery, Portland, OR

2000
Haute Aalto, Portland, OR, Fashion show collaboration with Paige Taylor
Bead International 2000, Dairy Barn Arts Center, Athens, OH. Catalog.
Lost and Found, Hyde Park Fine Arts, Tampa, FL

1997
Contemporary Beadwork, Contemporary Crafts Gallery, Portland, OR

1996
The Beaded Object, Folk Art Center, Asheville, NC. Catalog.
The Ubiquitous Bead II, Bellevue Art Museum, Bellevue, WA

1995
The Rebellious Bead, Creative Partners Gallery, Bethesda, MD

Collections

2003
Mingei Museum, San Diego, CA. "Girls Are Made of Mutilated Monkey Feet" neckpiece

Grants & Awards

2017
Associate's Choice Award, Wearable Expressions, Palos Verdes Art Center, Palos Verdes, CA

2013
Juror's Award, Craft Forms 2013, Wayne Art Center, Wayne, PA.  Juror:  Lena Vigna

2012
Humorous Beadwork, Funded teaching assistantship for Joyce Scott workshop, Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, Deer Isle, ME

2009
Oregon Arts Commission, Artist Opportunity Grant
Juror’s Choice Award, 30th Annual Contemporary Crafts, Mesa Arts Center, Mesa, AZ.  Juror:  Namita Gupta Wiggers

2003
Portland Bead Society Purchase Grant Award
Teaching assistantship, Penland School of Crafts