Artist | Robert Pillsbury

Artist’s Quote:

My art represents order and discipline. I strive to create the third dimension from two dimensional materials, and I use layers of cut paper to create three dimensional surfaces and worlds. My work is defined by intricate patterns and textures that emphasize the play of light and shadow. Although mainly monochromatic, I use color to enhance the textures and three dimensional quality. My work is all hand-cut (no computer cutters). I enjoy the creation and construction of my art as much as the aesthetic of the finished work.

Artist’s Statement:

I make my art as a logical extension of my previous architectural career. I treat each piece as a project. Art and architecture have many similar phases. The planning, creation, designing, refining, constructing, and enjoying are integral to both. My work is complex and requires skill and patience in order to achieve the ultimate three dimensional effect. I employ the same work ethic to my art as I did my architecture. Concerning the finished piece, I’m satisfied with my art if it portrays three dimensional surfaces and objects as I envisioned it.


My art consists of cut-paper and other two dimensional sheet materials. like paper because it’s easy to work with and doesn’t require a lot of equipment. My tools include an X-ACTO knife, straight edge, compass, pin, and tweezers.  I use different colors, textures, and weights of paper depending on the needs of the artwork. I create a work freehand. I then refine the design using 3D software. Each layer is then printed; each layer overlaid on the selected paper; and all intersections are marked with a pin and cut.


Harvard College, AB

Harvard Graduate School of Design, MARCH


Architect (retired)/Artist

Exhibit Honors:

-Open Juried Exhibit, Bristol (RI) Art Museum, Honorable Mention, “Earth Grid”, 2009

Juried Show, “Pure Fantasy”, Portsmouth (RI) Arts Guild, Honorable Mention, “Ribbon Swirls, 2012

Juried Exhibits:

-4th Annual Juried Art Competition, “Paper | Fiber | Wood”, IMAGO Gallery of Art and Fine Craft,                                                    Warren, RI, 2009

-Open Juried Exhibit, “Air”, Bristol Art Museum, 2010

-5th Annual Juried Art Competition, “Line | Form | Function”, IMAGO Gallery of Art and Fine Craft, 2010

-Spring Invitational Art Exhibition, IMAGO Gallery of Art and Fine Craft; Sponsor: Mary Dondero, 2011

-Open Juried Exhibit, “Botanicals”, Bristol Art Museum, 2011

-Open Juried Show, “Black and White”, Portsmouth Arts Guild, 2011

-Open Juried Exhibit, “The Sky’s the Limit”, Bristol Art Museum, 2012

-Spring Invitational Art Exhibition, IMAGO Gallery of Art and Fine Craft; Sponsor: Lisa Legato, 2012

-Open Juried Exhibit, “Brewing Up a Storm”, Bristol Art Museum, 2012

-Open Juried Exhibit, “Into the Woods”, Bristol Art Museum, 2013

-Open Juried Exhibit, “Bristol”, Bristol Art Museum, 2013

-Juried Exhibit, “Bristol”, Alta Luna Gallery, Bristol, RI, 2013

-Juried Exhibit, “November/December Art Exhibit”, The Gallery at Temple Habonim, Barrington, RI, 2013

-Juried Exhibition, “The Bristol Art Museum Celebrates Rhode Island Artists- 50 years”, BAM, 2014

– Juried Exhibition, “The Joy of Color”, Bristol Art Museum, 2016

Group Exhibits:

– Open Community Exhibits, IMAGO Gallery of Art and Fine Craft, 2010-2016

– Florijn Home, Wellesley, MA, 2016

– The Mint Gallery, Bristol, RI, 2016

Solo Exhibits:

-Featured Artist, Bristol Art Museum, Summer, 2012

-Featured Artist, ART Night-Bristol Warren, April, 2013

-Featured Artist, ART Night-Bristol Warren, September, 2014

-Featured Artist, East Bay Chamber of Commerce, Warren, RI, September, 2015- 2016

-Featured Artist, ART Night-Bristol Warren, June, 2016


Hanna, Julia; “Design in Layers, Robert Pillsbury’s Imaginative Stacks of Paper”, Harvard Magazine, March-April, 2014


“Chapter Two”; Prudential Financial Inc.; “Elevating Paper into an Art Form”,, 2014