Cynthia Atwood

Cynthia describes herself as an engineer who is motivated by materials and the pleasure she takes in handling them. Practicing an avocation congruent with a sewing business has brought a cross pollination of sewing techniques to both: an integration of the real and the surreal into everyday life.

Her studio practice is punctuated by an inward search for clarity and sewing allows her to conjoin pieces of the interior puzzle. The work of the thread has long been present in domestic life and just making a stitch relates to that legacy. My mother sewed, I sew. This tradition in the contemporary art studio/world is now non-gendered. What was known as the tradition of “Women’s Work” began with the village women responsible for spinning and weaving of cloth. Archeological digs have found female skeletons with their shoulders reformed by pushing the stone wheel that ground the flax into submission for spinning. The church gave women one of their first opportunities to “express” their skills in public by embroidering vestments and altar cloths.

Domestic process is intrinsic to her life. She does make a home, cooks, cleans and sews for a living. This same thread travels into the studio and is integrated into the whole. There is a moment when sewing is ritual, an aspect of domesticity that is the thread that holds the world together.

Photo of Cynthia Atwood


Cynthia Atwood lives and works in her studio home in the Berkshires, where she has been producing art for the last 35 years. She earned her BFA in Printmaking and Painting at the University of Kansas (Lawrence, KS) in 1976 and her MFA in Visual Arts/Sculpture at the Vermont College of fine Arts (Montpelier, VT) in 1999.

Cynthia runs a sewing business, creates art, and has taught art through programs such as The Body Project in Gt. Barrington, MA/Railroad St. Youth project – a project for women of all ages addressing body image and adornment-and as a visiting critic and artist- teacher at the New Hampshire of Art’s MFA program and at Massachusetts College of Art. She was awarded a New England Foundation for the Arts Fellowship and in 2005 was awarded an Alfred and Trafford Klots International Program for Artists Residency in France. Atwood shows her work in local and regional venues here in New England, including Montserrat College of Art, Simmons College, and the De Cordova Museum in Lincoln, MA.


B.F.A. Printmaking and Painting, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS, 1976

M.F.A., Visual Arts/Sculpture, Vermont College of Fine Arts, Montpelier, VT, 1999


2020-2021 Massachusetts College of Art MFA Program Artist Mentor

2009-2020 Vermont College of Fine Art MFA Program Artist Mentor

2014-2019 New Hampshire Institute of Art MFA Program Artist Mentor / Writing Advisor/ Guest Critique


2000 The Cambridge Art Assoc., National Prize Show, Sculpture Prize selected by Carl Belz

1998 Levin/Lutz Merit Prize, Vermont College of Fine Arts

1997 New England Foundation For The Arts, Sculpture Fellowship


2016 Virginia Center for the Creative Arts

2013 IS 183 Berkshire Artists Residency , Interlaken, MA

2005 Maryland institute College of Art - Klots Residency,Rochefort-en-Terre, Brittany, France

1996 Art OMI, International Artist’s Residency, Ghent, NY


An Alphabet of Weapons Thompson Gallery, Cambridge School of Weston, Weston, MA 2017

An Alphabet of Weapons No 6 Depot St. Gallery, West Stockbridge, MA 2016

Notebook Pages The Little Gallery, Front St., Housatonic, MA 2012

Listening Devices Carrie Haddad Gallery, Hudson, NY 2008

Transparent Couture and Other Pleasures The Trustman Gallery, Simmons College, Boston, MA. 2007

Cynthia Atwood: Stitch Morgan Lehman Gallery, New York, NY, 2005

Cynthia Atwood, Columbia Green Community College, Hudson, NY, 2005

Cynthia Atwood – Sculpture Segreto Contemporary Art, Santa Fe, NM, 2001

Body Couture, William Blizzard Gallery, Springfield College, Springfield,MA, 2000

Accessories Ute Stebich Gallery, Lenox, MA, 2000

Sculpture Koussevitzky Art Gallery, Berkshire Community College,Pittsfield, MA, 1995

Cynthia Atwood Butler Sculpture Park, Sheffield, MA, 1994

Entryways Akus Gallery, Eastern Connecticut State University,Willamantic, CT, 1993

Hunter – Gatherer Atwood Gallery, Worcester, MA, 1990


2 Women 4 Hands with Julia Baier Columbia Green Community College, Hudson, New York 2017

Panorama 6 Depot Gallery, West Stockbridge, MA 2015

Six From Spazi Lauren Clark Fine Art, Gt. Barrington, MA 2015

Mythologies Landmark Gallery of Fine Art, Landmark College, Putney, VT 2015

With A Grain of Salt, Citizen’s Residency with Beck Balken at IS 183 Art School of the Berkshires, Interlaken, MA 2013

Rites of Passage, Whiney Arts Center, Wendell St., Pittsfield , MA 2013

Friends, Columbia Green Community College, Hudson, NY, 2010

Merhaba,Baghdad Qasim Sabti Gallery, Baghdad, Iraq

Exposing Scarlet: A Visual Response to The Scarlet Letter, Ross Gallery, Central Piedmont Community College, Charlotte, NC, 2008

Exposing Scarlet: A Visual Response to The Scarlet Letter Mills Gallery, Boston Center for the Arts, Boston, MA, 2004

“Metamorphosis” A Journey of Dolls, The Drawing Room, Portland, ME, July2007

Obsession II, Haddad Lascano Gallery, Gt. Barrington, MA, 2005

Painting & Sculpture, Haddad Lascano Gallery, Gt. Barrington, MA, 2004

Dinnerware Biennial Exhibition, Dinnerware Contemporary Art Gallery,Tucson, AZ, 2003

unfoldingobject:critical selections. 1, Miranda Fine Arts & Henaine Fine Art, Port Chester, NY, 2003

Terrors and Wonders, Monsters In Contemporary Art, De Cordova Museum, Lincoln, MA, 2001-2002

Women, Art, and Ideas: 360, B.K. Smith Gallery, Lake Erie College, Painesville, OH, 2001

MFA Thesis Exhibition, T. Wood Gallery, Vermont College of Norwich

Montpelier, VT, 1999

No England No Amsterdam III, Real Art Ways, Hartford, CT, 1998

New England Foundation for The Arts 1997 Sculpture Fellowship Recipients,Chapel Gallery, West Newton, MA, 1998

Sculpture in the Garden, Berkshire Botanical Garden, Stockbridge, MA, 1998

Artists of The Berkshires, Krasdale Gallery, White Plains, NY, 1997

Nature of the Sacred, Nacul Gallery, Amherst, MA, 1996

Voice to Voice, with Dean Pulver, RICA Gallery, Housatonic, MA, 1995

Wood, Berkshire Artisans Gallery, Pittsfield, MA, 1995 (curated by Warner Freidman)

Sculpture at Naumkeag, The Trustees of The Preservation, Stockbridge, MA,1994

New England New Talent, Fitchburg Museum, Fitchburg, MA., 1992

Contemporary Sculpture at Chesterwood, Stockbridge, MA, 1991 Cynthia Atwood and Dawn Southworth, Montserrat Gallery, Montserrat College of Art, Beverly, MA, 1991

Religious Icons, Gallery 69A, Worcester, MA, 1987

New Art In The West, Vorpal Gallery, San Francisco, CA, 1986

Designed To Wear, Oregon School of Arts and Crafts, Portland, OR, 1986

California Mystique, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, CA, 1983