Nicole Donnelly is surrounded by yellow orange and red paper flowers and is looking up and away from the camera

Book Arts & Printmaking (MFA)

Nicole Donnelly is an adjunct associate professor in the Book Arts & Printmaking MFA program. She has been teaching hand papermaking and its artistic potential since 2010 and is the founder of paperTHINKtank, a community-accessible hand papermaking studio in Philadelphia that is focused on sustainable practices and artistic collaboration.


Nicole Donnelly holds a BA in Visual Art and Japanese Language from Bennington College, Vermont, and an MFA in Painting and Drawing from the University of Iowa, Iowa City, where she also had the great fortune to study hand papermaking with Timothy Barrett.

Ecology and environmental issues are central to her artmaking process, as she maintains a conversation among media: hand papermaking, drawing, painting and sculpture. Donnelly explores the malleable relationship between image and object, manipulating handmade papers imbued with color and imagery into three dimensions.


  • Donnelly is president of the International Association of Hand Papermakers and Paper Artists, 2015 – 2022, including the organization of three international conferences on contemporary paper art.

  • She is a collaborative papermaker for Brandywine Workshop and Archives (2018 – present); and for The Brodsky Center at Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) (2019 – present).

  • Her creative workshops have taken place at Dieu Donne, New York City; Paper & Book Intensive, Ox-Bow, Saugatuck, Michigan; Philadelphia Museum of Art; Fabric Workshop & Museum, Philadelphia. 

  • Donnelly has hosted students from numerous university programs with additional focus on conservation, art history and the history of the book.

  • Her writing and essays have been published in Papermaker’s Tears (The Legacy Press, 2019) and Hand Papermaking magazine (2021, 2013).


Visit Nicole Donnelly’s website. 

Visit paperTHINKtank’s website.

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Awards & Accolades

Donnelly has received numerous honors.

  • She has completed residencies at the Philadelphia Museum of Art; Morgan Conservatory of Paper, Cleveland, Ohio; Goldwell Open Air Museum, Beatty, Nevada;  Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, Vermont; and the Women’s Studio Workshop, Rosendale, New York. 

  • Temporary outdoor installations have been commissioned by the Fairmount Park Conservancy and The Schuylkill Center, both in Philadelphia. 

  • Donnelly’s artworks are in the collection of Obara Washi no Furusato, Toyota, Japan; the Pennsylvania Convention Center, Philadelphia; and the Free Library of Philadelphia, among others. 

  • She has exhibited throughout the U.S. and internationally.