Monday, November 03, 2014

Your WCA: Featured member Laura Petrovich-Cheney

Get to know your fellow Philadelphia Chapter WCA members.

Your WCA: Laura Petrovich-Cheney
Your WCA is a new feature I started so we can all get to know each other a little better. If you'd like to be highlighted, please email me at Please send me your biography, some examples of your work and a photo of yourself. We can't wait to meet you.   

Meet Laura Petrovich-Cheney. I first met Laura in 2007 when I was serving as Vice President of AENJ South, Laura was on the National AENJ Board and I must say I was quite nervous to meet her! She was so confident and really had her act together. Flash forward two years and it turns out we were entering the same MFA program at Moore College of Art and Design. Laura and I quickly became close friends and it has evolved into a strong personal and professional friendship, the kind that happens when you endure a challenging experience together. Laura's energy, passion and enthusiasm are contagious. Spending time with her is always time well spent.

Laura Petrovich-Cheney is inspiring in so many ways. Please read her biography and visit her website and blog below. You can meet Laura on November 9th at her studio visit, exclusively for WCA Philadelphia members.

Petrovich-Cheney creates sculptures, site-specific installations, and drawings by resurrecting and transforming wood, birds’ nests, honeybees' wax, and detritus that she finds. She even collected trash from the Arctic Circle during her residency there in 2013; the trash which will be apart of an installation piece at the Noyes Museum next year.

Her current body of work is inspired by her knowledge and experiences with traditional quilt designs. The material for these wooden abstract designs comes from what was left of Hurricane Sandy. As a shore resident, Petrovich-Cheney was able to collect wooden debris from the devastated communities—floorboards, window frames, cabinets, dressers, exterior siding. Her work evokes a sense of comfort rather than a reminder of the destructive power of the storm – in fact many of her pieces are in public collections such as MD Anderson Cooper Hospital Cancer Center and Temple University Hospital. Her work is bright, whimsical and filled with the summer shades that instantly evoke happy places.

Petrovich-Cheney also uses wooden debris from demolished older homes as well. She says “by using wood from disassembled homes, I can explore time and that place traditionally thought of as a woman’s place - the home.”
In addition to making art, Petrovich-Cheney maintains a blog (, several native flower gardens and a small orchard that sustains my two colonies of honeybees.  For more information on our featured member, please visit

Locked in
34" x34.5"
Salvaged Wood

Relative Confusion
39" x 39"
Salvaged Wood

Barn Razing
30" x 30"
Salvaged Wood

Save the date. We will be visiting Laura's studio on November 9, 2014. Stay tuned for details!

Kristin Osgood Lamelas
President, WCA Philadelphia Chapter

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