Beaded Square Project


**The deadline for the Beaded Square Project has passed as of March 19th, 2021.**


To see a complete list of the participants in this project, click here.  


As part of our core mission, the Museum of Beadwork explores ways in which beads build relationships and bond us together. To this end, the Museum of Beadwork is mounting a new community project which grows out of a desire to commune on a joint project while safely sheltering; marking this very particular time we are going through together, apart. The end result, which will be exhibited at the Museum of Beadwork, will be a bead based ‘quilt’ visualizing the individual and communal experience of this distinct moment in history. 


We invite you, no matter your experience, style, or technique, to make a square of beadwork and send it to us. 

The task is simple: take a 6” square, flat, strong substrate and build a surface with beads using the very broad notions of pattern, texture and, primarily jewel tones as color. (think blues, purples, greens, golds with pops of other colors if desired). 

  • Materials are ‘bead centric’ but not necessarily only about using beads. Found materials are acceptable but we ask for at least a rough percentage of half beads. 
  • The base cannot be any smaller than 6” square OR any larger.  We will be piecing these together so a uniform size is necessary, no exceptions. 
  • Beadweaving, bead embroidery, and other similar techniques are absolutely acceptable, they just must be mounted to a solid base. 
  • It can be 3D, but must be no larger than 6 inches in any direction.
  • The base material is up to you, but because the pieces will be wall mounted, it must be durable, strong, and flat on the non-beaded side.
    Think wood, metal, thick rigid plastic, etc. Materials not to use include: fabric, cardboard, foam core, thin bendy plastic. 


Please mail them to us no later than March 19th, 2021.
When mailing, please include:

  • Your piece(s).
  • Your name, town/state/country, and age (if you wish to share).
  • Whether or not you would like to be listed as a contributing artist.
  • Any one or two sentence statement you’d like to share about the project.
  • Mail to:
    Museum of Beadwork
    915 Forest Avenue
    Portland, ME 04103


The final installation will largely depend on how many individual squares we receive. There are so many options and ideas for putting it all together; we will keep you updated as we go along. 
To that end there will be a private FaceBook group for people to discuss, ask questions, and commune during this time.
This project and the group page are being headed by the Museum of Beadwork, Kristina Skillin as Museum Director, with support from artist Nancy Josephson who originated this amazing idea. You may contact us at the museum (we suggest email as we are not in the office everyday due to the current situation, ) or join the online group to ask any questions.


Fine print, please read!

Upon receiving, the squares will become part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Beadwork, and are intended to be on display at the Museum of Beadwork as an installation. Individual squares will not be returned. 

All submissions to this project become the full property of the Museum of Beadwork and can be used by this institution in any lawful way including (but not limited to) publicity, marketing, publication, exhibitions, etc. in perpetuity. All proceeds resulting from this project will go to support the Museum of Beadwork and its mission.


Beaded Square Project Database 
So far we have received over 500 squares from more than 16 countries, and have 1,300 + participants in this specific community. We are updating this database as we edit the initial intake photographs. Check back often to see new submissions!