AboutBryant “I use everyday items to make art,
which transforms the objects and
surprises us.”

To purchase my new book, "The Last Straw: A Continuing Quest for Life Without Disposable Plastic", visit rcwms.org.

book cover

Some of my items for sale can be found at the following stores and galleries:

Craven Allen Gallery, Durham, NC
New Morning Gallery, Asheville, NC
Piedmont Craftsman, Winston-Salem, NC

Watch a 6-minute video with Bryant Holsenbeck about her art and new book The Last Straw (RCWMS, 2018). Video by UNCTV.

Listen to a recording of Bryant Holsenbeck, author of The Last Straw (RCWMS, 2018) in conversation with Frank Stasio on The State of Things (WUNC).


For over a decade now, I have been documenting the “stuff” of our society that we use once and throw away. Americans continue to create more garbage, per capita, than any other culture, yet we are blind to our waste. I believe this is a function of our wealth, and the vastness of our country. We have the room to hide our waste, and the money to make more. I collect many things, among them, bottle caps, credit cards, plastic bags, straws and lids, beach plastic and chop sticks. I use these everyday items to make work, which transforms the objects and surprises us. I am an environmentalist, receiving great joy from the natural world. This makes me aware of how we take what we have for granted. We are used to using “stuff” once and then throwing it away. We may throw it away, but my work makes me aware of its continual impact.

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One of Bryant's specialties is creating community art projects with groups of children or adults. She will work with you to create your own project designed for a specific event and/or group of participants, or she will lead you in a project of her own design. Bryant also likes to engage groups of students or adults in the making of her larger environmental installations.

Full Resume.pdf

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2020—John C. Campbell Folk School, September 20-26

2019—National Basketry Conference, Bowling Green KY July 16-20,2019

2019—Arrowmont School of Crafts, Gatlinburg, TN, “Wrapping Wild: Making Animals Out of Recycled Materials”. October 20, 2019-October26, 2019

2018-2019—Artist in Residence for the Resource Center for Women Ministry and the South, Durham, NC

2017—Great Southern Workshops, Cranbrook, Australia, March 10-13, 2017.

2017—Grampians Texture, March 17, 23, 2017 Halls Gap, Australia.

2017—Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, Gatlinburg, TN. July, 2017 July 9-15, 2017.

2015—WILD—a workshop in making animals—Arrowmont School of Crafts, Gatlinburg, TN, September 27-October 3

2015—50th Anniversary Show, Snyderman Works Gallery, Philadelphia, PA, May 1-June 30

2015—Plastic Water Bottle Installation, Tennessee Tech University, Cookeville, TN, March

2015—MAKING WILD ANIMALS—a workshop—Pocosin Center for the Arts, Columbia, NC, March 11-15 

2015—Bucks County Community College Residency—plastic water bottle fall installation, February 2-6

2015—PARADISE LOST AND RECYCLED—Bucks County Community College, Bucks County. PA, January 21-March21

2014—WASTE MATTERS - Community art installation sponsored by Theatre Art Galleries, High Point, NC at the High Point Public Library

2013—Community plastic bottle installation, Bryan Center, Duke University, Fall

2013—“BOTTLED WATER-River of Life” Community public art installation, Cary, NC, April-September

2013—“PURIFIED: A River in the Desert” a community collaboration, Ellen Noel Art Museum, Odessa Texas, June -September

2013—Visiting Artist: Duke University—Sustainability Theory and Practice—Public Art Project, Spring

2012—Artist-in-Residence the Scrap Exchange, Durham, NC

2012—STREAMING: New Art From Old bottles, Gregg Museum of Art and Design, North Carolina State University, September-December

2012—STUFF: Where does it come from and where is it going?  Installations at the Turchin Center for the Arts, Appalachian Sate University, Boone, NC

North Carolina Arts and Learning Grants 2010, 2011, 2012 in Goldsboro, NC, Chowinity, NC and Henderson, NC

2010—Artist in Residence, University of Wisconsin, Madison WI

2010—Community Portrait of Durham, Durham NC

2009—AWAY AND BACK AGAIN, mandala installation at Fed Ex Global Education Building, UNC, Chapel Hill, NC

2009—Visiting Artist, Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, Deer Isle, ME

2009—ACCESSIBILITY/SUSTAINABILTY--Installation and community outreach, Cleveland St College, TN

2000-present—Visiting artist in Wake County and Johston County Schools

2008—Arrowmont School of Crafts, Instructor, summer

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2018 - BEAUTY OF THE BEAST—Greenhill Center for NC Art, Greensboro, NC


2014 - FIELD NOTES 2 person show with Ann Marie Kennedy at Ackland Museum Shop Gallery, UNC-Chapel Hill, NC

2013 - “BOTTLED WATER-River of Life” Community public art installation, Cary, NC, April-September

2013 - “PURIFIED: A River in the Desert” a community collaboration, Ellen Noel Art Museum, Odessa Texas, June-September

2013 - “Wild Animals”— Blue Spiral 1, Asheville, NC March 7 - May 25

2013 - BIRDS: an installation in Collaboration with Dave Wofford and Horse and Buggy Press, Durham, NC, Spring

2012 - STREAMING: New Art From Old bottles, Gregg Museum of Art and Design, North Carolina State University, September 27-December 16

2012 - STUFF: Where does it come from and where is it going?  Installations at the Turchin Center for the Arts, Appalachian Sate University, Boone, NC

2010 - “AGAIN AND NEVER AGAIN: Can we co-exist with ourselves?" Guilford College, Greensboro, NC

2010 - BLUESPHERE: EARTH ART EXPO, sponsored by the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, Charseleston SC, College of Charleston, bottle cap mandala in Addleston Library

2009 - AWAY AND BACK AGAIN--an installation in the UNC Global Fed X building, Chapel Hill, NC

2008 - ARTISTS MAKE ALTARS Long View Center, 118 S. Person St., Raleigh, NC

2008 - 6th International Fiber Biennial, Snyderman -Works Galleries, Philadelphia, PA, March 6-April, 2008, Curated by Brue Hoffman. www.snyderman-works.com

2008 - 2008 Fiber Biennial, Snyderman Gallery, Philadelphia, PA, March 6-April, 2008, curated by Bruce Hoffman

2007 - Parkway Show, Blue Spiral 1, Asheville, NC--Sept-Oct.

2006 - The EDGES OF GRACE: PROVOCATIVE, UNCOMMON CRAFT, Fuller Craft Museum, Brockton, MA. Curated by Gail Brown.

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Just Published! "THE LAST STRAW: A Continuing Quest for Life Without Disposable Plastic”.

2019—Mica Gallery, Bakersville, NC April 4, 2019-June17, 2019. Reading from “The Last Straw” during Bakersville art walk, April 5, 2019

2019—Pleadias Gallery, Durham NC, Planet eARTh, April. “The Last Straw” reading and discussion, April 11, 2019 7:00pm

2019—Craven Allen Gallery, Opening of “We the Animals” with Bryant Holsenbeck and Kathryn Demarco, May 18, 2019, 5:00-7:00 pm

2019—Reading from “The Last Straw”, Blue Spiral Gallery, Asheville, NC, April 22, 5:30 pm

2019—Reading from “The Last Straw”, Quail Ridge Books, Raleigh, NC, April 29, 2019, 7:00 pm

2019—The Muse WUNC-TV, May 9, 2019

2019—National Basketry Conference, Bowling Green, KY July 16-20, 2019

2019—Arrowmont School of Crafts, Gatlinburg, TN. “Wrapping Wild: Making Animals Out of Recycled Materials”. October 20, 2019-October 26, 2019

2017—Rooted, Revived, Reinvented: Basketry in America, a national traveling exhibition sponsored by the University of Missouri. Traveling Exhibition. See website for dates.

2019—Memorial Art Gallery, Rochester, NY, February 2 to April 14, 2019

2019—Ruth Funk Center for Textile Arts, Florida Institute of Technology, Melbourne, FL

Check out my blog, THE LAST STRAW: A reluctant year without disposable plastic.

Blackbirds, Bottle Caps, & Broken Records
DVD now available from RCWMS

Bryant is available for consultations, lectures and workshops. Please contact her at Bryant@bryantholsenbeck.com



Bryant Holsenbeck began her arts career as a basket maker. Since that time she has evolved into an environmental artist who makes large-scale installations that document the waste stream of our society. She has shown her work and taught throughout the United States and Australia. She has been the recipient of 2 North Carolina Arts Council Fellowships, a Project Grant and an NEA Arts and Learning Grant that she worked on in collaboration with the Chapel Hill Public Arts Commission. In 2013 she was an artist in residence at Moulin à Nef in Auvillar France.

In 2010 she lived a full year without using single-use plastic. She continually uses what she learned in that year to make a smaller foot print on the environment. Her book, “THE LAST STRAW: A RELUCTANT YEAR WITHOUT DISPOSABLE PLACTIC” was published in the fall of 2018 and is available for purchase.

She is also an independent studio artist who makes books, birds, and other mostly animals sculptures out of recycled materials.

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2013, Residency, VCCA, Le Moulin a Nef, Auvillar, France

2010 & 2012 - Fellowship to Virginia Center for the Creative Arts

2008 - Artist in Residence, Resource Center for Women, Ministry and the South, www.rcwms.org

2006 - Artist in Residence, Headlands Center for the Arts, Sausalito, CA

2002 - Invited to make an ornament for the White House Christmas Tree, Washington, DC

2000 - Awarded a North Carolina Arts Council Visual Arts Grant

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2014 - Textile Plus magazine, Alkmaar, Holland

2009 - 1000 Ideas for Creative Reuse, Garth Johnson, pub 2009 by Quarry Books

2009 - BLACKBIRDS BOTTLE CAPS AND BROKEN RECORDS, Environmental artist Bryant Holsenbeck at work, a film by Margaret Morales, produced by RCWMS, Durham, NC

2007 - Crafting Voices--an online interview--Spring 2007 www.craftingvoices.com

2009 - GREEN GUIDE FOR ARTISTS, Quayside Publishing Group

2000 - 1000 IDEAS FOR CREATIVE REUSE, Garth Johnson, Quarry books

2008 - Crows, South of the Garden, The Newsletter for the Resource for Women & Ministry in the South

2005 - New Southerner, August/September 2005, online magazine article by Rebecca Wolbach

2000 - Baskets: A Book for Makers & Collector, Billie Ruth Sudduth, publisher Lark Press

1994 - Fiber Arts, September/October, pages 30-31

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To email Bryant: bryant@bryantholsenbeck.com

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Arrowmont School of Crafts, Gatlinburg, TN 2015, 2019

Pocosin Arts, Columbia, NC 2015

Tennessee Technical College, Smithfield, TN 2015

Bucks County Community college 2015

Tyrell County Schools 2014

Highpoint Theatre Art Gallery, High Point NC 2014

Duke University, Durham NC spring and fall 2013

Ellen Noel Art Museum, Odessa TX--2013

Cary Art Center, Cary, NC--2013

Duke University, Durham, NC--2013

Gregg Museum of Art & Design, NC State University, Raleigh, NC--Fall 2012

Turchin Center for the Arts, ASU, Boone, NC--Spring 2012

Guillford College, Greensboro NC Fall--2010

Haystack Mountain School of Crafts--Instructor--2006, Artist in Residece--2009

Headlands Center for the Arts, Sausalito, CA Residency--2006

Penland School of Crafts--Instructor--2004

North Carolina Arts Council--Visual Arts Grants 2000, 1996

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click one of the above to download a photo for publication