Artist Betsy Packard uses saved materials to pursue themes of journaling and individual histories in her art, and believes that the meditative process of making the work can bring meaning to the art object, and transformation to the artist and the viewer:

“Portability, conservation, re-use, thrift--and working on a larger scale--have drawn me in recent years to fabric. Clothing and household linens retain the embodied memory of their owners and possess an intrinsic aura. I am drawn to the visual power of the strong simple shapes of the garments. They provide a foundation for the vital, meditative, repetitive process of hand sewing I am compelled to engage--similar to the process i used in the 80’s of making paintings with melted wax, one brushstroke at a time. Together, shape, means of construction, and surface ideally support the intended content of the work and give it emotional weight.”

In New Orleans Packard ( Tulane University MFA Painting), Packard exhibited at Galerie Simonne

Stern and installed a site piece for the 1977 inaugural exhibition, “Louisiana Environments,” at the Contemporary Arts Center there.


Her work has been shown most recently in “Geometrix: Line, Form, Subversion ,” at Curator’s Office, D.C., The Shiva Gallery, John Jay College, CUNY, New York, and at The American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center in “Outliers: Kurt Godwin and Betsy Packard.”

She has exhibited at the West Hubbard Gallery in Chicago, The Addison Gallery of American Art in Andover, Massachusetts, and in the D.C. metro area at the Washington Project for the Arts, McLean Project for the Arts, the District of Columbia Arts Center, Maryland Art Place, Anton Gallery, and Gallery 10. Packard received Visual Artist’s Grants from the Maryland State Arts Council in 1988 and 1991. 

Reviews of her work have appeared in The Washington Post, The Washington Times, The Washington Review, The New Art Examiner, and Art Voices/South by writers Jane Addams Allen, Lee Fleming, Benjamin Forgey, Alice Thorsen, Richard Rubenfeld, Mary McCoy, JoAnn Lewis, Patrick Frank, Michael Welzenbach, and Michael O’Sullivan.  Packard served on the WPA Board of Directors from 1985-1987.

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