Jo Stealey


PhD, University of Missouri 


Jo Stealey, Ph.D. is the head of the fiber program and was awarded the endowed Middlebush Chair for Arts & Humanities (2010-15) for creative research. She currently serves as a board member for the National Basketry Organization (NBO) and writes regularly for the NBO Review Magazine on basketry. She often teaches workshops, lectures on contemporary fiber and exhibits her work nationally and internationally. In 2011 she attended Kart Zgloszeni, an international basketry festival and symposium in Nowy Tomsyl, Poland as a member of the American delegation (through NBO) where she was one of the keynote speakers.  She is currently in the process of curating a national traveling on the History of American Basketry, 1900-2012.

Current exhibitions include: a solo exhibitions at Perlow-Stevens Gallery, Columbia, MO (2013) and Albrecht-Kemper Museum at the Albrecht-Kemper Museum, St. Joseph, MO (2012).  (2012) and Fiber International at Snyderman Gallery (2012); Small Expressions (2011) and the Sioux City Art Center 62nd Juried Exhibition (2011); The Regional Arts Commission show (2011) in St. Louis and the Jacoby Art Center in Alton, Ill (2011). Her work is shown regularly at SOFA, through Snyderman-Works Gallery. Other notable exhibitions include: one person exhibitions in Granada and Benalua, Spain (2008) and Sheldon Galleries of Art St. Louis (2009). A set design for Eklektica, a music ad performance art team in Spain was completed in 2009 and continues to be performed at music festivals throughout Europe  Her work has been included in such traveling exhibitions as, Contemporary Baskets: No Boundaries and A New Era of Sculpture, in Taiwan.

Recent hand papermaking workshop venues include Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts in Gatlinburg, TN (2011-12) and The Ranch, Seattle, WA (2012). She has also taught at La Escuela de Arte, Granada, Spain (2008( as well as at the National Basketry and International Surface Design Association conferences.

Examples of her work can also be seen in Fiber Arts Design Books III-VIII as well as issues of Fiberarts, Surface Design and Shuttle Spindle and Dyepot magazines and of course her website: Jo was trained as a potter and weaver, but has made sculptural vessels using handmade paper for more than 25 years. She has recently begun to incorporate other natural materials into her work such as river willow and processed leaves.  Her work encompasses both 2 and 3 dimensional formats. Her imagery draws upon her experiences through travel and everyday life.

Interviews and Info: 

Letter to Students from Chair Jo Stealey (from articles)

November 12, 2015

Dear Students,

In my role as the Chair of the Department of Art and on behalf of the faculty and graduate students of our department, I am reaching out to you regarding the recent events on the University of Missouri campus.  In particular, we want to talk to you about safety and well-being during this time.  You are part of the Art Department community and we take that responsibility very seriously.  Your personal safety is of utmost importance to us.

First, I want to provide you with some campus-level information.  We are grateful to the University of Missouri Police Department (MUPD) who work tirelessly to keep campus safe.  The University announced that MUPD will increase their presence for the time being.  Further, they have provided instructions to students for contacting them if they experience any potential threatening behavior.  There was a confirmed anonymous threat posted on the evening of November 10th on the social media site Yik Yak.  The individual who posted that threat is a student at Missouri University of Science & Technology and was arrested today (November 11th) in Rolla, MO.  Another student was arrested today at Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville, MO.

The MU Alert system provides real-time alerts when there are potential threats on campus.  If we believe you are in any type of danger, we will cancel classes and take other steps to ensure your safety.  In this age of social media it is easy for false rumors to get started and spread, and we regularly monitor reputable sources for credible information.  It is important to note that all of the demonstrations that have taken place on the University of Missouri campus have been peaceful, and we are aware of no incidents of physical violence on campus associated with the protests.  You can go to this link for more information:

We also want you to know that our department is taking additional proactive steps to ensure the safety and well-being of our students, as well as to provide additional support.  We know that some of our students are uncomfortable coming to campus:  Individual faculty will work with you regarding alternative strategies for delivering course content to you.

Additionally, we have faculty, graduate students and professional staff in the department who have volunteered to walk with students on campus who have fears about their well-being and deliver supplies to their homes if they have concerns with leaving their homes.  We will also coordinate carpooling if students want this assistance as well.  Please contact the faculty member who teaches one of your art classes if you would like to have this type of assistance.  We will do everything we can to provide you with as safe an environment as we can.  Faculty and staff are available on the phone and in classes to provide support.  Counselors are also available if you want to talk about recent events.  I am available to meet with you as well to discuss concerns.

Below are some additional resources to assist you any time:
If you need assistance in dealing with fear, anxiety or stress, please contact the Counseling Center (573-882-6601) or Student Health (573-882-7481).  Additional counselors, including counselors of color, are there to assist you.

Anyone with any information about vandalism is requested to contact Detective Sam Easley at (573) 884-3721 or CRIME STOPPERS at (573) 875-8477.  Individuals also may submit tips online at  Individuals may remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,500 if the information leads to an arrest.
Other important resources:
MU News Bureau:
MU Police Department:  (573) 882-7201

This has been a difficult time for all of us, and we are committed to ensuring that you feel safe and supported as we deal with these issues as a university community.  We will also continue to ensure that you receive the education you deserve.

If you have additional questions or want more information, please contact the department (573) 882-3555 or stop by my office in A129 Fine Arts to talk to us in person.  We all appreciate your continued support as we work our way back to normalcy and create a safer and inclusive environment for all of us.

Finally, please share this letter with your parents, as we know they are very concerned about your safety as well.


Jo Stealey, PhD
Chair, Department of Art
A126 Fine Arts
University of Missouri
Columbia, MO  65211
(573) 882-3638

Prof. Jo Stealey's Work Added to the Smithsonian Collection (from articles):

A national artist book exhibition held at Pyramid Atlantic resulted in the first prize being awarded to Jo Stealey for her work "Paired for Life" which has now been added to the Smithsonian's AA/PG artists' book collection.  Click here to read the artist interview and to see her work:

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