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Thoughtful questions and comments about my artwork, teaching, and commissions are welcome. Thank you for your interest. 


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Portland, Me

Crystal Cawley is an artist who works with paper, textiles, collected objects, and re-purposed materials. 


Worth Noting

The Hundred Dresses Project

Crystal Cawley

The Hundred Dresses Project is inspired by Eleanor Estes’ children’s book, The Hundred Dresses. First published in 1944, and still in print, the story has a timeless theme of acceptance and finding the courage to stand up for what’s right.

I printed 200 copies of a simple dress shape (a trapeze dress for you fashion geeks out there) with a letterpress border and title. So far I’ve distributed about 160 of them to artists and other interested folks of all ages, genders, and walks of life. I’ve asked people to read the story, embellish the dress in some way (collage, printing, drawing, painting, sewing), and send the finished piece back to me. I am looking for exhibition venues, and considering other kinds of public events, for when I've gotten back all the ones that people wish to return.  

Letterpress dress print, 14 1/2 x 11 inches

Letterpress dress print, 14 1/2 x 11 inches

Portland Show at Greenhut Gallery

Crystal Cawley

Crystal Cawley,  Portland Hat , 2016, detail. Photo by Jay York. 

Crystal Cawley, Portland Hat, 2016, detail. Photo by Jay York. 

Crystal Cawley,  Portland Hat , 2016. Photo by Jay York. 

Crystal Cawley, Portland Hat, 2016. Photo by Jay York. 

Greenhut Gallery’s 8th Biennial Portland Show runs through Saturday, April 30, at 146 Middle Street in downtown Portland. The Portland Show is an invitational exhibition for which artists create work specifically about Portland. 

I made an oversized top hat embellished with paper feathers, leaves, flowers, and covered buttons. I used several large Army Corps of Engineers maps of Portland from the 1950s, 60s, and 70s to make all the parts of the hat. Thank you to the Osher Map Library at USM for their free pile of discarded maps. 

For more information about the exhibition, use this link to contact Greenhut Gallery