Io Palmer was born on Hydra- a motor-less Greek island off the coast of the Peleponesse. She grew up amongst the donkeys, the fishes, the clear blue Mediterranean Sea and the jazz music her parents listened to.

Through depictions of cleaning products, laborers’ garments and various other industrial and domestic forms, Io Palmer’s artworks explore the complex issues of class, capitalism and societal excess. Trained originally as a ceramicist, Palmer uses a variety of processes and materials including fabric, steel, sound and wood.

Palmer has been featured in several national and international exhibitions including Dakart-International Arts Biennial, Dakar, Senegal; Working History, Reed College, Portland, OR; Hair Follies, Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec; Inside Out, Baltimore Clayworks, Baltimore, MD and solo exhibitions at Deluge Contemporary, Victoria, BC; The Art Gym at Marylhurst University, Oregon and forthcoming York College, CUNY, Jamaica, NY. She has participated in several artist residencies including the Sanskriti Foundation, New Delhi, India; the Santa Fe Art Institute, Santa Fe, NM; Art Channel, Beijing, China and the Ucross Foundation, Clermont Wyoming. Io recently received an Idaho Commission on the Arts Grant (2014).

She holds a BFA from the Tyler School of Art (Temple University), Philadelphia, PA and an MFA from the University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ. Io is currently associate professor of fine arts at Washington State University, Pullman, WA.


Buttoned Up Cloud represents the 2300-mile journey between my small, rural hometown in eastern Washington to an equally small suburb in western Pennsylvania. To document my travels- I chose the lowly and humble white plastic button and paired it with the ephemeral ever-changing cloud image. Stopping in small town thrift stores and antique shops along the way, the white button became the dot that traced this voyage. As it suggested a tidy order to things- a way to find closure and significance. The cloud form however, reveals the opposite- as they were the constant shape during my journey but remained floating and intangible.