OakwoodArt-3-smallrev copy

Carly Helgeson

December 2, 3, 11am - 5pm


Papier-mâché and acrylic paints are my primary media. I create vessels, functional sculptures, wearable, wall and table art. My vessels made of paper are unintentionally deceptive as they are often mistaken for ceramic, but are so much lighter!

Influenced by folk art, graphic design, fashion, textiles and patterns, I use repeated markings and strong saturated color palettes to create eye catching surface patterns on familiar forms. I then add to those forms - I have developed silhouettes that are unexpected - “knobs”, “wings” and handles that extend out into the air.

I want the viewer to feel joy, a bit of whimsy and a fun energy while viewing my work.


I am a multi-media artist in Oakland, CA working primarily in papier-mâché. I value this medium for its relative accessibility, simplicity and ease of use. I graduated from UC Davis with a B.A. in Art Studio and History in the late 1990’s where I studied with ceramic artist Anabeth Rosen. At that time, I was focused on hand-built sculptures made of clay, however, I find that the tools and processes I use in papier-mâché-making are, happily, very similar.

At the heart, my work is about repurposing something I already have; a newspaper or a shipping box, posters, wrapping paper, fabric, even discarded costume jewelry. I love the idea of breathing new life into old things and in this way my pieces are both whimsical and nostalgic.

Ultimately, I produce art that is visually pleasing to me. Inspiration strikes when I am reading a magazine, visiting a museum, watching a screen or flipping through books in my library and I see a shape, a color, a textile. I am driven to reinterpret the inspiration through my own lens.

Location and Contact Information

Artwork Price Range
Studio or Exhibition Space
792 Mandana Boulevard, Oakland, CA, USA
Accessibility Information
Space is accessible for differently abled individuals
Languages Spoken