TERESA SULLIVAN Bead Tapestry and Bead Sculpture


Teresa Sullivan creates intricate and monumental sculptural jewelry from humble materials using the ancient technique of beadweaving, revealing her love of the surreal and the irreverent.  The stories she tells in her beaded tapestries, jewelry and sculpture are about the power of people discovering their abilities; from super heroines of comics and science fiction to the real mentors of her life. The tiny beads are transformed from something delicate to bold dense, self supporting artworks.

Although she has an idea for a particular piece before she even strings her first bead,  her mode of working allows for discovery throughout the weaving process.  As each work grows she gets insights which allows her to work through the difficult stages and solve the aesthetic and technical problems of making artworks with beads.

To tell her stories she uses a wide variety of stitches from around the world, each stitch giving a different texture and sculptural capabilities to her work.

Peyote or gourd stitch allows her 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 pattern, and like the other stitches she uses is adapted for both two and three dimensional work.  Right angle weave gives her control of the flexibility of the beaded fabric, from very flexible to stiff.

Teresa Sullivan
Olympia, Washington


Selected Exhibitions
"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

"Strung Together", Museum of Natural and Cultural History, Eugene, OR
BEAD", Greater Reston Arts Center, Reston, VA
"Craft Forms 2013", Juror's Choice Award, Wayne Art Center, Wayne, PA.  Juror:  Lena Vigna
"Brooch Show", Racine Arts Council, Racine, WI
"Collaborations", Guild Showcase, Museum of Contemporary Craft, Portland, OR
"Humorous Beadwork", Funded teaching assistantship for Joyce Scott workshop, Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, Deer Isle, ME
"The Teapot Redefined", Mobilia Gallery, Cambridge, MA
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
30th Annual Contemporary Crafts," Mesa Arts Center, Mesa, AZ.  Juror’s Choice
Award winner.  Catalog.
"Transformation", Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, Pittsburgh, PA
"Dia de los Muertos", Guardino Gallery juried group exhibit, Portland, OR
Pacific Northwest Sculptors group exhibit, Guardino Gallery, Portland, OR
"Beadwork VI:  The Beaded Book", Beadwork magazine traveling exhibit
"Wearable Expressions", Palos Verdes Art Center, Palos Verdes, CA
"Zenten Invitational Exhibition", Tokyo Art Metropolitan Museum, Tokyo, Japan
March 26, 2008- April 4, 2008
Craft Forms 2007", Wayne Art Center, Wayne, PA
"Absolutely Beads, Beads & Beyond", Bellevue, WA
"Beads and Light: Dimensional Beadwork", Solo exhibition, Beet Gallery, Portland, OR
"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
Craft Forms 2006", Wayne Art Center, Wayne, PA
"Bead International 2006", Dairy Barn Cultural Arts Center, Athens, OH
"The National Juried Bead and Fiber Exhibit", Delaplaine Visual Arts Education Center, Frederick, MD
"Beadwork IV: The Beaded Figure", Beadwork magazine traveling exhibit
Viva Lucha!", Gallery Bink, Portland, OR
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
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
"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
"Contemporary Beadwork", Contemporary Crafts Gallery, Portland, OR
"The Beaded Object", Folk Art Center, Asheville, NC. Catalog.
"The Ubiquitous Bead II," Bellevue Art Museum, Bellevue, WA
"The Rebellious Bead", Creative Partners Gallery, Bethesda, MD

The Bead Museum, Glendale, AZ. "Girls Are Made of Mutilated Monkey Feet"

Grants & Awards
Juror's Award, Craft Forms 2013, Wayne Art Center, Wayne, PA
Oregon Arts Commission, Artist Opportunity Grant
Juror’s Choice Award, 30th Annual Contemporary Crafts, Mesa Arts Center
Portland Bead Society Purchase Grant Award
Teaching assistantship, Penland School of Crafts