Large Scale Papermaking Artwork in Rhode Island


Joan Hall was born in Mansfield, Ohio. She received her BFA at the Columbus College of Art and Design, Ohio and her MFA at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. She studied papermaking at the Institute for Experimental Paper with Garner Tullis in San Francisco, CA. Hall is the Emerita Kenneth E. Hudson Professor of Art in the Fox School of Art and Design at Washington University in St. Louis were she taught Sculpture and Printmaking and was the former Director of Island Press.

Joan is known for her innovative and large-scale approaches to art making with handmade paper, glass and steel. Her work crosses traditional lines between sculpture, painting and printmaking. Her work is in major collections around the world which include: The Brooklyn Museum of Art, NY, the Fogg Museum, Cambridge, MA, the Municipal Museums in Suwa, Japan, and Nanjing, China, the St. Louis Art Museum, St. Louis, MO and the Leopold-Hoesch Museum in Duren, Germany.

Hall has shown her work both nationally and internationally, including: The Silkeborg Art Center, Silkeborg Bad, Denmark, The Brooklyn Art Museum, NY, Museum of Nebraska Art, Kearney, NE, Blue Star Contemporary Art Center, San Antonio, TX, Rijswijk Museum, Holland, and the Appledoorn Museum, Holland, the Hillwood Museum, Brookville, NY, the Joselyn Museum of Art, Omaha, NE, the Cedar Rapids Art Museum, IA, Museum Aemstelle, The Netherlands, Budapest Museum of Art, the Leopold-Hoesch Museum, Germany, and the Nordjylands Museum, Aalborg, Denmark.

Numerous articles and reviews have been written about her work and it has been published in over 20 national and international books and catalogues. Her work has been featured on New York 1, cable TV and Channel 9 in St Louis.

Hall has been a visiting artist and critic in both the USA and Europe. She continues to develop innovative techniques while producing works that relate the environment and her long time fascination with the sea.



In her work, Hall shows her long-time fascination with the sea, and the relationship of cell to body to planet. The same amount of salt that is in our blood exists in the ocean. Through a lifetime of sailing, Hall has watched the deterioration of waters she has frequented. Her art expresses her concern for the environment, primarily that of the sea. Ten percent of all plastic produced in the world ends up in the ocean. In an interest to cross boundaries between sculpture, painting, and printmaking, she chooses her materials in relationship to her ideas and sets up her own coding system. Hands-on experimentation with the properties of materials is an important element of her art-making practice. She has a keen interest in craft, and in her current work, she laboriously cuts out areas to reveal the underlying layers, much like looking down into water. Cast pins used to form the undulating pieces are made with resin and plastic collected from ocean beaches. The work negates any traditional sense of perspective, much as the waters themselves offer no obvious navigational clues other than the endless horizon. Through her work, she addresses her concerns about the problems of plastic pollution and marine debris.