Exquisite Paper Cutting by Joyce Yarbrough

Palmyra native, Joy Yarbrough,  will be the guest artist at the Alliance Art Gallery for the month of October.  Yarbrough is known for her freehand silhouettes of people and pets.  Often referred to as the paper cutter who “draws with scissors”, Yarbrough creates one of a kind art using no patterns, only paper and scissors.  Her repertoire includes plants, places and many facets of nature including feathers, butterflies, and intricate mandalas.  She often combines watercolor with her paper art for a touch of color.  Citing nature as the source of her inspiration, Yarbrough tries to capture the ‘life’ of her botanical and nature silhouettes by creating a three dimensional effect.

Yarbrough says her first paper cutting was as a child cutting paper dolls and snowflakes.  Later as she was experimenting with different mediums for portraits,  which she does with pencil, pen and ink, watercolor, pastel, oil and handmade paper,  she revisited paper cutting.  Her first silhouettes were cut freehand.  Because of the historical significance and demand for the  “lost art” of paper cutting she concentrated on people and participated at many historical venues.  Eventually Yarbrough expanded into nature and architectural silhouettes.  Using surgical scissors and archival paper she cuts a design as she sees the “shape of things”,  whatever shape that intrigues her first, then often adds color to enhance the silhouettes. Preferring the curves line of nature instead of straight lines she says that the St. Louis skyline and the Cathedral Basilica were challenges.

A graduate of the University of Missouri, Yarbrough continued her art studies at KC Art institute while she worked at Hallmark Cards.  Joy has exhibited her art in many invitational and juried exhibitions, and historical venues nationally.  Internationally her silhouettes have traveled to China, Poland and Germany.  Yarbrough attended China’s 2007 International Festival of Paper Arts.  Her scissor cut paper art is part of permanent museum collections in the USA and China, as well as in homes all over the world.  Yarbrough has served as an art show juror, demonstrated, lectured and taught art.  She has worked as a marketing coordinator, art director and educational illustrator.  Currently residing in St. Louis, she is a member of Greater St Louis Artists Association, Columbia Art League and a former board member of the Guild of American Papercutters.

An exhibit of her work will open on October, 10, with a reception beginning at 5 p.m. and continuing to 8 p.m.  and will continue until November 14.