Jessica Beels Design
Paper Sculpture Paper Sculpture

All contents copyrighted 2002-2016
by Jessica Beels Design, Washington, DC
All rights reserved.

Calendar and Newsletter – 2017


New Bird Sculptures made from Upcycled Materials
When I was preparing materials for a paper mache workshop for the pre-school teachers at Washington International School, I made some samples, including two birds made from toilet paper rolls, cardboard, wire, and newspaper. I was so pleased with the results that I have been making birds ever since, including a crow that I incorporated into the piece for the Zeitgeist show at Hillyer Art Space and a series of small songbirds for inclusion in Jane Rainwater's Botany of Tyranny installation at the Dirt Salon in Hartford, CT, starting in March. Both shows are listed in the schedule below.

I will be posting images of some of the birds in the blog associated with this site.

New Studio at Off the Beaten Track!
I am thrilled to be back in a studio outside my home again! This fall I joined Julia Bloom and Susan Hostetler in a shared space at Off the Beaten Track in Northeast Washington, DC. It feels good to stretch out a bit and be in the company of all of the creative folks in that vibrant building. We will be having an open studio in May – stay tuned.

DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities Award
I am honored to have been awarded an Artist Fellowship grant from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities for the third time in 2017. The funds are awarded without attachment to a particular project and with minimal reporting requirements and limitations, so this has been a wonderful opportunity for me to explore some new directions.


January 14 – February 5
Artful Attire
Glen Echo
7300 MacArthur Blvd, Glen Echo, MD
I am pleased to have a selection of my jewelry, mostly paper over steel, with one fused recycled plastic necklace, includede in this show or wearable art.

February 2 – March 3
Pyramid Atlantic Juried Members' Exhibition
Pyramid Atlantic Art Center
4318 Gallatin Street, Hyattsville, MD
My small sculpture Animal/Vegetable/Mineral is part of this show of works on or incorporating paper and printing techniques.

March 3 – April 2
Zeitgeist IV: Preconceptual
Hillyer Art Space
9 Hillyer Ct, NW, Washington, DC
Opening reception: Friday, March 3, 6–9 pm
A group show curated by Ellyn Weiss, Sondra Arkin, and Tom Drymon examining current topics and reflecting on the lens through which we view and interpret the "news."

starting March 25
Botany of Tyranny installation by Jane Rainwater
Dirt Salon
50 Bartholomew Avenue, Hartford, CT
The artist has covered this space entirely with her prints incorporating silhouettes of weapons and other symbols of war. A small group of my birds made from recycled materials, also covered with her prints, are included in this space.

April 6 – May 22
Creative Crafts Council Biennial Exhibition
Strathmore Mansion
10701 Rockville Pike, North Bethesda, MD
Every two years, the Creative Crafts Council pus together this exciting show, featuring work by members of DC-area crafts guilds. I am happy that my sculpture Animal/Vegetable/Mineral was juried into this show.

April 25 – October 20
Earth Bound
American Center for Physics
1 Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD
This 6-month show, curated by Sarah Tanguy, features my paper-over-wire sculptures, as well as photography by Michael Collier and mixed media paintings by Andrea Huppert.


Weigh your Words
The Weigh your Words project continues. This year, I focused on broadening the audience for the project, including participating in the WISSIT teachers' conference for a second year and workshops with middle school students exploring empathy through poetry and discussion around the words on the stones. I also had the opportunity to participate as an "activation artist" in the lobby during the Atlas Performing Arts Center's Intersections Festival this past winter, sharing the project with audiences as they passed through the space on the way to and from the festival's many wonderful performances. I am looking forward to bringing the project to the Project Zero teachers conference in DC in October, as well as a special collaboration with Word Dance Theater called "Chambers of the Heart" in DC in November (see the Calendar, above, for details).

Voyage of Discovery
Ellyn Weiss (, Michele Banks (, and I continue to look for new venues for Voyage of Discovery, our show about global warming and melting sea ice that opened at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) last January and then reemerged at McLean Project for the Arts in the fall of 2014. If you have any ideas, please let us know!

To see a video about the process we went through to create the work - both collaborative installations and series by individual artists - please visit this link. The video was included in the DC Shorts Film Festival in the fall of 2014, as well - a lovely surprise! I have posted some more information and images on the blog associated with this website.

Where is my Studio???
I am thrilled to be back in a studio again! This fall I joined Julia Bloom and Susan Hostetler in a shared space at Off the Beaten Track in Northeast Washington, DC.

Fifteen Minutes of Fame
If you want a peek into my childhood, please see Elyse Harrison's Spring 2012 blog interview about my childhood and how it relates to the work I make now (see the interview at Studio Neptune). Thanks, Elyse, for the wonderful opportunity to unearth the past!

Blogging about my work: The blog attached to this site is a way for me to talk a bit more about how and why I do my work. You can get to it by clicking on the "Blog" button at the top of each page on this website, or you can go straight to it at Responding to friends' and clients' requests, I have posted a description of how I make my paper. I plan to discuss new projects or pieces as I work on them. I hope you will find this new blog worth visiting occasionally.

Beyond Garbage - Recycled Materials Blog: This blog is about artists working with recycled materials. If you are interested in learning more about this blog, please visit Beyond Garbage. If you would like to join the project, contact me and I will put you on the tickle list. The site also includes information to help schools and other groups organize similar projects encouraging people to think creatively about their material world and how to make something (fun, beautiful, useful, or provocative) out of "nothing" (free stuff you might have just thrown away or recycled).

...and Etsy
...sort of. My shop name is JBeelsDesign and I am listed as a jeweler (paper jewelry). The direct link is: Because I have to post a picture of the actual item for sale, I do not have anything listed right now. But if you want to buy something from me, now I can post an image on Etsy and let you know when it is up, and you can pay me securely through PayPal on the site. We'll see how this works. Let me know!


Man/Made - Takoma, MD
Featured artist, deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum Store (October) - Lincoln, MA
Handmade: Explorations in Fiber - BlackRock Center for the Arts, Germantown, MD
Commissioned by the James Renwick Alliance to make a pin for presentation accompanying the Alliance's first annual Chrysalis Award (recipient: Shea Wilkinson)

Call and Response - Angie Newman Johnson Gallery, Alexandria, VA
Ephemeral - Greater Reston Arts Center, Reston, VA
Recipient of the 2015 Washington Sculptors Group's Tom Rooney Award for Excellence in Sculpture for the installation "Bycatch" in the Ephemeral exhibition
Personal Patterns - Cafritz Arts Center, Montgomery College, Silver Spring, MD
DCCAH Artist Fellowship Grant Recipients' Show - DC Commission on the Arts, Washington, DC

Alchemical Vessels - Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery at Smith Center for Healing and the Arts, Washington, DC
Voyage of Discovery - American Association for the Advancement of Science, Washington, DC; McLean Project for the Arts, McLean, VA

All Over the Map (F.I.N.E. group show) - Keystone Art and Culture Center, Lancaster, PA
Life up Close - Orange Regional Medical Center, Middletown, NY
Pulse: Art and Medicine - Strathmore Mansion, Bethesda, MD
In Flux - Handmade in America, Asheville, NC

An Abstract Approach - Har Shalom Synagogue, Potomac, MD
MetalWork 2012 (Juror's Special Recognition award) - VisArts, Rockville, MD
Smithsonian Craft2Wear Show - Washington, DC
Rare Alignment - Ice House Gallery, Berkeley Springs, WV
Artomatic 2012 - Crystal City, VA

The Medium is the Message - Gallery 555, Washington, DC
ACC Baltimore (wholesale jewelry) - Baltimore, MD
Beels, Dahlke, Holtsman - BlackRock Center for the Arts, Germantown, MD (three-person show)
Bijoux - Bruce Museum, Greenwich, CT
Ebb and Flow - ArtSpace, Herndon, VA (with Rachel Collins' watercolors)
By the Numbers - Washington Sculptors Group at BlackRock Center for the Arts, Germantown, MD

MetalWork 2010 (Jurors' Choice Award) - Target Gallery, Alexandria, VA
Craft Boston - Boston, MA (April and December)
Washington Craft Show - Washington, DC
Westchester Craft Show - White Plains, NY
Wearable Art/Unwearable Fashion - VisArts Rockville, MD
Personal Armor: Artists' Concepts of Aprons - BlackRock Center for the Arts, Germantown, MD
Thoreau's Legacy - Union of Concerned Scientists, Washington, DC
100 Tea Bowls - Torpedo Factory, Alexandria, VA

Washington Craft Show - Washington, DC
Westchester Craft Show - White Plains, NY
Courage Unmasked - Katzen Arts Center, Washington, DC
Paradise City Arts Festival - Northampton, MA
Smithsonian Craft Show - Washington, DC

Holiday Crafts at the Armory - New York, NY
Washington Craft Show - Washington, DC
Westchester Craft Show - White Plains, NY

Creative Crafts Council Biennial - Bethesda, MD

Fiber's Finest - Fiber Arts Study Group juried show, Gilchrist Museum, Cumberland, MD
Illuminations - Gallery 11, Hartford, CT

Creative Crafts Council Biennial (2nd Place, Mixed Media), Strathmore Mansion, Bethesda, MD
Translucence: Forms in Paper - Lynn Tendler Bignell Gallery, Brookfield, CT


"Triangle Pillow Earrings," Step by Step Beads, Spring 2003,
Vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 18-21

"Beautiful Boughs," Step by Step Beads, Mar/Apr 2006,
Vol. 4, no. 2, pp. 30-33

"Beaded Leaves," Step by Step Beads, Mar/Apr 2006,
Vol. 4, no. 2, pp. 34-41

"Stick Earrings," Step by Step Beads, May/June 2008,
Vol. 6, no. 3, p. 44

"Deliciously Diagonal Beaded Bead," Beadwork, June/July 2008,
Vol. 11, no. 4, pp. 64-65
See corrections to instructions at:

By-invitation shows and Classes
As always, I am happy to do on-site trunk shows at your home or office (what a way to spend your lunch break!). I teach classes (one-on-one or in a group of up to eight) in paper sculpture using high-shrinkage paper as well as beading classes from beginner's basic bead stringing and repair to advanced bead weaving.

Let me know if you'd like to be on my mailing lists (regular or email) for seasonal updates. Email or call (202) 361-2609.

Jessica Beels Design, Washington, D.C.