May Babcock

May Babcock is an interdisciplinary artist based in Rhode Island whose work is anchored in hand papermaking and place. Her practice connects the fields of craft, ecological art, public art, printmaking, installation art, analog photography, book arts, and community art. Site specific research into the natural world, land use, plant ecologies, hydrologies, human histories, and geologies inspires her artwork.

Unfettered by traditional papermaking styles, Babcock’s processes are guided by a regenerative philosophy—where using plant fibers and color, water, and sediment benefit all systems. Collaborative process between plants, paper, and maker gives opportunity for deep communication.

Babcock exhibits her artwork widely. This includes the RISD Museum of Art, The National Taiwan Craft Research and Development Institute, Society of Arts and Crafts, Real Art Ways, Edinburgh City Art Center, Danforth Art Museum, and the Ogden Museum of Southern Art. Notable public art sites include Brown University, Illinois State Museum, T.F. Green Airport, the Rhode Island State House, and Providence City Hall. Her work has been featured in Art New England, Hand Papermaking, Big Red & Shiny, Rhode Island Monthly, the International Association for Great Lakes Research, several books, and various news and magazine publications.

As an educator, May Babcock has taught papermaking at Rhode Island School of Design and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University. She has taught workshops at Brown University, the Worcester Art Museum, Women’s Studio Workshop, and Pyramid Atlantic Art Center.

She has been the artist in residence at National Parks, National Forests, universities, and federally-designated wilderness areas. Babcock has received grants from city governments, the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, the Barr Foundation, and National Endowment for the Arts. She is a National Arts Strategies Creative Community Fellow. Interestingly, Babcock was awarded a Citizen Citation award for environmental education from the Mayor of Providence, Rhode Island.

She graduated summa cum laude from the University of Connecticut with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting and printmaking and earned a Masters of Fine Arts degree from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge.

May Babcock is the founder of, a blog dedicated to sharing and expanding the art and craft of hand papermaking, and supporting its practitioners. In 2019, she prototyped a creative placemaking project, Pawtucket Paper Center, a community papermaking studio. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for Hand Papermaking, Inc..

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  • Artist Info

    • Pawtucket, RI
      US - East

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