Janet Ames Boccelli

Walking on Eggshells

Introspective Interactive Installation

Janet Ames Boccelli

Taos, NM, USA

Remember a time when you didn’t speak your truth because you felt fear or invalidation. As you walk this eggshell labyrinth, let that fear dissipate. The crushed eggshells will be used in creating a 6’ butterfly representing the “meaningful exchange” of listening and speaking your truth.

Before you enter the pine-cone labyrinth laden with eggshells, collected from Gutiz, participant writes down a time they were not able to speak their truth because the felt fear or judgment. With these words in hand, they will walk to the center of the labyrinth, crushing the eggshells and deposit paper in the center box. Their paper written words and the eggshells will be used to make a 6’ butterfly whose upper wings will represent the human ear and lower wings will represent the human mouth. This butterfly will remind us of the importance of meaningful exchange in the act of listening and speaking your truth and will hang in to-be-announced local for the Taos community.


I was born in Peterborough, N.H. in l960 into an incredibly artistic and creative family. As a child, I witnessed the talents of many family members who painted with oils, crafted shoes, sewed clothes and dolls, built homes and furniture, decorated event cakes, etc… creating was the core of our family. Painting, drawing, calligraphy, clay modeling, paper mache, sewing, play-writing, costume and prop making, and beading have all contributed to my passion to create. I vividly remember the day my sister came home from college in 1971 with an artistic project from her of crushed eggshells. I was mesmerized by its non-traditional lines and color, the medium of dyed crushed eggshells, something so natural and unnatural at the same time; I decided then and there that one day I would grow to create art made with eggshells. I have created a medium with the eggshells, ponderosa pine cones, coffee grounds, crystals, and mica, which I call Arte Naturale.

My Arte Naturale is currently on exhibit at Elevation Coffee shop in Taos. The images I choose to create are meant to ask the viewer to connect with one’s high-self and seek ways to understand the journey on this path of being human. I find the intelligence in the animal, plant, and mineral kingdoms and icons of different religions to be the best reminders of how to be the best we can be. I find no shortage of images that resonate beauty, joy, love, tranquility, or hope.

I also create ambigram art which are words written to read something different when turned upside down. I have 3 ambigrams that I have designed for shirts, caps, and stickers: Taos/Soul, Life/Soil, and Brother/Jah love. These words along with the visual images within the design are also meant to remind us to learn from the natural world and be appreciative and respectful of all sentient beings.