Art on Paper 2017

I am so excited to announce that my embroidered envelopes, Casa Illuminata, are included in Art of Paper 2017 at the Weatherspoon Art Museum in Greensboro, NC. If you find yourself in Greensboro this summer, stop by to see the exhibition. I am flattered to be showing work alongside so many artists that I admire!

One Pulse or Another, 2015, cotton thread on envelope

Full exhibition details can be found here:



October Exhibition at WriterHouse

The Most Important Thing
The Most Important Thing, ballpoint pen on paper, © Amanda Wagstaff 2014
Pages and Envelopes

at WriterHouse
508 Dale Avenue
Charlottesville, VA

October 2016

Opening Reception Friday, October 7th, 5-7pm

Beginning on Friday, October 7th, I will be showing some work at Writer House in Charlottesville.

WriterHouse is a local non-profit space that promotes the creation and appreciation of literature by providing classes, lectures, and work space. I took a poetry class there when I moved to Charlottesville in the summer of 2014, and now I will be showing a small collection of work related to the craft and process of writing. As a matter of fact, the ideas for some of this work in the exhibition were generated during that poetry class, when I was thinking more and more about using writing formats to create visual art.

There will be a small reception to open the exhibition during October First Friday, and the work will be on display for the entire month of October. Unfortunately, WriterHouse does not have regular opening hours, so the opening may be the only chance to see the exhibition. Unless, of course, you sign up for a writing class during the month of October!

Feel free to email me using the Contact tab above if you’d like more information about the exhibition, the work on display, and sales.

Clausum Illuminatum


Paintings and Drawings by Kathleen Carey Hall and Embroideries by Amanda Wagstaff at The Garage in Charlottesville, VA – December 4th-28th.

Opening reception: First Fridays on Dec. 4th, 4:30-7:00 pm

Kat Hall and I have had a parallel conversation in our work for a while now, approaching pattern in similar ways but using different materials. Despite living and working far away from each other, there are visual equivalents that connect her paintings and my embroideries. We share a visual and material language that spans the physical distance between us, and connects us as artistic kindred spirits.

If you’re out and about for Charlottesville First Fridays, stop by and check it out!

Travel Notes

Disorientation – Feelings of Inadequacy – First World Guilt



On my flight from Raleigh to New York, I looked out the window and the land was at the top and the blue was on the bottom. It took me several seconds to realize that I wasn’t upside down. The blue was water and the land was the Jersey shore.

Feelings of Inadequacy

Before I could even get on that flight, before I could even get through security to go to the gate, I COULDN’T CHECK IN.*

Public Service Announcement: Americans who are traveling abroad for long periods of time without visas or work permits MUST HAVE A RETURN FLIGHT. You will never be able to fulfill your beatnik fantasy of buying a one-way ticket somewhere in search of ‘truth.’ They will deport you because YOU are an illegal alien. You do not contribute to their society and they don’t want you. THAT will never happen because you will not be allowed to leave the US in the first place! HAHAHA!

I stood in the check-in line and used my little smart phone to buy a one-way ticket BACK to the US, so that the nice lady would let me check in to my flight (that was leaving in 30 min).

Should I have known about this?! Or am I just a cocky wee American shite who thinks she can go wherever she wants and do whatever she pleases? Am I inadequate?

First World Guilt

The in-flight “entertainment” was a cycle of videos made by the Wall Street Journal about current events and stories around the world. One was about how cell phones have revolutionized life in Bangladesh. (And at the JetBlue check-in line.) The reporter was interviewing a young woman who had grown up in a rural area of Bangledesh, but had moved to a nearby city to work for the garment industry. She was making more money than anyone else in her family, so she was using her cell phone to send money back home. The transaction was instantaneous. She would wire the money with the phone, then call her dad. He would go pick up the cash at a little bank station nearby, and then walk directly to the market to shop for the family. This twenty-something young woman was the primary breadwinner for her entire family.

Towards the end of the video she said, “I’m doing this for my daughter. I hope that when she grows up, she will be able to live like an actual human being.” Those words, “live like an actual human being” stabbed me in the heart. I have done lots of jobs that I hated, but I’ve always had a way out, a new opportunity coming down the pipe. I AM a wee shite.

In Conclusion

Traveling always makes me realize how much of a wee shite (translation: small and insignificant) I am. And this time, I realized it just 5 minutes after walking into the airport! But it’s ok. You just gotta suck it up and have some gratitude!


*I got the feeling that the Jet Blue employee at the counter got a little bit of satisfaction out of denying my the thing I wanted. A little power trip. And then I realized that I have experienced that too. As a barista, I used to get a sick kick out of denying and disappointing customers. For example, some newbie would come in and order something that wasn’t on the menu, like a damn Starbucks frappaccino. (I did not work at Starbucks) I secretly liked to look at them like they were stupid and say, “I’m sorry, ma’am, what? We don’t have that.” And they’d pout and be all sad and confused looking at the menu. And then I’d feel bad and tell them that the Java Shake was essentially the same thing as the frappaccino. Or maybe someone wanted decaf or nonfat and I’d tell them it was unavailable. Or someone was mean so I put decaf or half n half in their 3x shot skinny drink…Those last two are lies. And then the opposite would happen sometimes. I would go out of my way to be really nice to regulars, because they had grown on me, and I loved them. I would remember their drink and if they were in the back of the line, I’d have their drink ready by the time they got to the front.

I wonder if the coffee shop is a microcosm of how prejudice and nationalistic sentiment work in the wide world?

Pop-Up Exhibition at The Haven

I’d like to announce an upcoming exhibition of my most recent project “Complete Thought.” I have been hand sewing loose-leaf paper for the past four months and it is finally ready to share. All 14 feet of it! If you find yourself in Charlottesville on March 11, please stop by. If not, I’ll send you some epic pictures afterwards :)