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Liberty and Justice: The Sweet to Satirical Art of Salley Mavor

The "Liberty and Justice" exhibit is an opportunity to see a wide array of works by fiber artist and illustrator, Salley Mavor, who has recently added political satire to her list of subjects to explore. She uses small dolls as a metaphor for playing house in a controlled environment that has been taken over by outside political forces. The exhibit features a collection of photographs of scenes she created in a doll house and a stop-motion animated film, which satirize the current administration in Washington. The original dolls and props used in the film will also be on display. Although Ms. Mavor’s foray into political art is the centerpiece of the show, the exhibition also includes original embroidered children’s book illustrations and other artwork from earlier in her 40-year career. The inclusion of these pieces tracks the evolution of her artistic journey from “innocence” to tackling real world issues.

About the Artist

Salley Mavor grew up in a household full of treasures and creative ideas. She learned to sew as a child and has been making art with a needle and thread ever since. At home, there were always art supplies close at hand and a sense that time was available for creative pursuit. Drawing with crayons was never enough for Salley. She remembers feeling that her pictures were not finished until something real was glued, stapled or sewn to it. As an illustration major at the Rhode Island School of Design, she left traditional mediums behind, preferring to communicate her ideas with sculptural needlework. Salley has continued to develop her technique for over 40 years, creating 3-dimentional works of art that tell stories with embroidery and found objects.

Salley has illustrated many children’s books using her unique blend of materials and hand stitching techniques. Her picture book, Pocketful of Posies: A Treasury of Nursery Rhymes won the 2011 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award and the 2011 Golden Kite Award. Her newest publication Felt Wee Folk: New Adventures is the 2nd edition of her popular how-to book of doll projects. She and her husband Rob Goldsborough recently collaborated on the politically satirical stop-motion animation, “Liberty and Justice: A Cautionary Tale in the Land of the Free”. Salley lives and works in her home studio in Falmouth, Massachusetts

Artist Statement

I’ve had a wonderful career illustrating children’s books and designing little dolls, but around my 60th birthday I felt that something was missing and that the rest of my life as an artist would be different. I felt an urge to break away from safe and sheltered subject matter, and explore what was happening in the real world. Never would I have thought that this new direction would lead to political satire. Yes, the personalities of my dolls changed dramatically and moved out of the fairy house and into the white house!

Liberty and Justice: The Sweet to Satirical Art of Salley Mavor
March 2 - April 20
Opening Reception March 2
5:00pm - 7:00pm
Artist Talk at 5:20pm


We’re also pleased to announce that on April 13th, 11am to 1pm, you can join Salley Mavor in our Mainstage Theater where she will talk about her exhibition, her journey as an artist and will take questions from the audience. Admission is free.