Polymer Collection Project:
The objective of this extended project has been to elevate the profile of polymer, a synthetic modeling compound, among museum curators, gallery owners, and other interested parties such as collectors. Initiated by Elise Winters, Rachel quickly joined the cause. In due course they were able to compile a collection of several thousand pieces of polymer art. Highlights of the assembled works were presented to museum professionals with the intent of introducing them to the vast potential and complexity of the medium. While the collection has been dispersed, the larger concept of educating about polymer art remains an ongoing goal. This idea will be greatly advanced through the leadership of Bruce Pepich at the Racine Art Museum. Pepich has committed to establishing a center for the study of polymer art at the museum, as well as the mounting of an exhibition devoted to polymer art with an accompanying academic catalog. The exhibition, Terra Nova: Polymer Art at the Crossroads, will open on October 21st, 2011.

Polymer Art Archive:
The Polymer Art Archive seeks to consolidate a written record of polymer art history into one place. In the span of about thirty years, polymer work has evolved from early explorations of ancient bead techniques into a sophisticated art material that offers artists a wide range of possible directions and techniques. Using recollections from artists and all other available research materials, the PAA aims to weave together the threads of polymer history. Another aim of the site is more broadly educational. In this capacity, Rachel writes regularly about issues of design, critical commentary and other relevant matters with the idea of creating a larger conversation about the state of the medium. The site is intended to be a resource for artists, museum professionals, galleries and collectors who wish to learn more about polymer.

Other activities:
Rachel was part of both the site planning committee and an exhibition committee for the June, 2001 “Courting the Muse” conference sponsored by the National Polymer Clay Guild. This event was held in Bryn Mawr, PA. The related, on site exhibition was an early effort to present the path of polymer history. While limited due to issues of timing and scale, the show featured many important pieces. Rachel documented the exhibition through a check list and slide show.