Carol Shaw-Sutton is a California based visual artist who creates sculpture, flat works and installations exploring themes of loss, longing, and the hand using age old textile processes and strategies. The work often requires a labor-intensive commitment of time to engage the viewer in a sense of ritual rhythm and humanness. Her materials are often culled from the natural, plant and animal, world transformed into something resembling skins or bodily structures. There is a conceptually forged tension between strength/fragility, structure/release, growth/decay, stillness/movement and other opposing forces. The works address the deep human concern for harmony and freedom from our singular selves towards an inescapable network of mutuality.


“Shaw-Sutton works intuitively and makes objects that are laden with meaning”, writer and critic Betty Park has noted. “There are many clues – that don’t tell a simple story or describe the boundaries of any one experience; neither are they so personal or obscure as to inhibit the communion the viewer seeks. Rather they are like myths, fertile sources of many stories, many interpretations. At its root, the work is traditional, yet highly original, elegant, and eloquent in its form and concept. She has stepped into an unknown land that feels like home.”

Shaw-Sutton’s work is in the permanent collections of the DeYoung Museum, San Francisco, California, the Oakland Museum, Oakland, California, the Museum de Beaux Arts, Lausanne, Switzerland, the Museum of Art and Design, New York, New York, Long Beach Museum of Art, Long Beach, California, the Center for Tapestry, Ancient and Modern Foundation Toms Pauli, Lausanne, Switzerland, The Mint Museum, Charlotte, North Carolina, the Kyoto Museum of Art, Kyoto, Japan, among others.


Shaw-Sutton was named a Fellow of the American Craft Council Fellow in 2009, a Young American Award winner by the Museum of Art and Design, New York, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellow (3 times), the United States Japan Fellowship, the United States France La Napoule Foundation Fellowship, the Fine Art Award at the International Textile Biennale in Kyoto, Japan, Professor of the Year from the School of Art, California State University, Long Beach, City of Long Beach Artist Fellowship. Shaw-Sutton is Professor Emeritus at the School of the Art, California State University, Long Beach where she headed their Fiber Program in the School of Art for more than 30 years.


Shaw-Sutton began exhibiting her work at the California Design Exhibitions at the Pasadena Museum of Art in the late 1970’s. She then won the prestigious Young American Award from the Museum of Contemporary Craft now the Museum of Art and Design in New York. Her work travelled from the Smithsonian’s Renwick Museum in Washington, DC to numerous museums across the county as part of the “Other Gods: Art as Ritual”. Her work has been exhibited in 3 international Lausanne Biennales at the Museum de Beaux Art in Switzerland in the 1990’s, the International Textile Exhibition in Tilburg, Holland, and The International Textile Exhibition in Kyoto Japan. Work was showcased in “Poetry of the Physical” started in New York at the MAD and then travelling extensively. She exhibited a large piece as part of the World Shibori Conference exhibition in Oaxaca, Mexico at Centro de las Artes de San Augustin (CASA) and the Museo de Textil. 


In 2021 she was part of Art in Nature showing at Building Bridges Art Exchange in Los Angeles that travelled to the Museum of Nature in Cantabria, Spain. She continues her extensive exhibition schedule with upcoming venues this year in Connecticut, Los Angeles, Palos Verdes, Ojai, Camarillo, California and at the Casablanca Biennale in Morocco. The work is extensively included in magazines and publications ranging from Art Forum, American Craft, Architectural Digest, many museum catalogues and numerous books.