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Art lovers flock to ‘Navigating Flight’

By Lauren Schiavone
Hometown Weekly Staff

Using recycled vintage materials, artist Laurie Bogdan puts forward the idea of a partnership
between art and nature. Bogdan’s original pieces give maps a new life as part of collaged
masterpieces, and her current exhibit at the Needham Free Public Library, “Navigating Flight”,
up through February 21, presents a perfect opportunity to view them.

Bogdan’s paper collages of vibrant local birds, such as the cardinal and piping plover, are
placed in layers atop a meticulously-selected maps that fit the overall theme of the pieces, and
their avian subjects.

Bogdan acquires materials as yard sale finds, as well as donations from friends. The bulk of her
paper is sourced from old picture books and science books. Over her five years of creating
these collages, she’s developed a knack for finding the correct type of pattern and paper that
coincides with her subject matter. “I’ll find a science magazine and see a blown-up image of an
eyeball, and the color when you turn that in a different direction looks like feathers,” she shared.
“I once made a snowy owl and found they’re black and white on the chest. I found a far back
image of a full orchestra and turned it sideways and it made the exact pattern.” Bogdan tears
the edges of the paper to give a ragged white edge.

Among the stunning pieces, “Great Blue Heron Needham” showed a variety of techniques. The
paper is cut and ripped to give two dimensions to the body of the bird. The sharp beak is cut
with small sewing scissors, as are specific featherings along the neck and top of the wing. The
back of the head and outline of the torso are made with ripped paper to give a slight fluffiness.

Birds in “Piping Plover Cape Cod”, meanwhile, journey through Eastham and the upper arm of
the Cape. The ripped edges bring a nice white highlight that outlines beautifully against the stark
blue background. The perfect paper is something Bogdan acquired over time. Previously
making jewelry out of gaming hardware and fusing plastic bags to make fungi for a public art
project with ArtRamble in Concord, she has an affinity for upcycled crafts.

Bogdan enjoys working collaboratively as a medium and in practice. A member of ArtLinks
Arlington, she stated, “I’m an organizer. I like doing project management as well as my art.” Bogdan worked administratively within the arts community and enjoys networking with like-
minded individuals to stay inspired.

Summing up her art and inspiration as succinctly as possible, Bogdan states: “Maps are a lost
art, and I like to think beyond the GPS.”

Fellow birdwatchers, astronomers, geography fiends, and art aficionados will enjoy Laurie
Bogdan’s “Navigating Flight.” Of the twenty-four detailed pieces on display, each is carefully
constructed and eminently worthy of an in-person glimpse. The art will reside at the library
through February 21. To view more of Laurie Bogdan’s work and for purchase inquiries, visit or follow @lauriebogdan on Instagram.

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