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Fiber-based artist Dena Haden is driven by the desire to connect people with the natural world. Her art, meticulously crafted from found materials like grasses, flowers, and dried plants, draws inspiration from her intimate connection to nature. Through her sculptures, she seeks to illuminate the human bond with the environment and the intricate cycle of renewal.

“My inspiration typically emerges from the natural world and the profound experience of being human, fully alive,” Haden said. “When I’m with nature or with people, what I’m trying to do is to recreate a moment in time that can connect others to the essence that nature gives us, that kind of awe-inspiring moment.” 

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Contact Dena and view her work.

Her delicate artworks hang from the ceiling and the walls of her New Bedford Hatch Street studio. The materials have been delicately woven together to form large organic shaped sculptures that invite viewers to scrutinize the meticulous weaving of these materials.

A native of the South Coast, Haden’s creative process requires dividing her time in the studio and within the natural landscapes of her home along Buzzards Bay. She describes her process as “journeying out and being in nature and then bringing that back to the studio.” 

Informed by this communion with the living world, her creations are imbued with a profound exploration of the environmental cycle of creation and decay. Her ultimate goal, she said, is that her works gracefully return to the earth, perpetuating the cycle of renewal and rebirth.

Beyond her artistry, Dena Haden serves as the founder and director of the Co-Creative Center, a space that empowers artists to develop and nurture their art while fostering collaboration. 

“We facilitate a lot of programs and free opportunities for artists to learn how to have a creative practice but also how to make your art practice a business and sustainable,” she said.

Haden’s work has reached an international audience. She is set to receive the prestigious Biennale Internazionale Dell’arte Contemporanea in Italy on Oct. 14, in recognition of her exceptional contributions to installation and fiber art.

Commonly referred to as the Florence Biennale, this eight-day extravaganza assembles some of the globe’s most distinguished contemporary artists annually. Formed in 1997, this grand art exhibition has served as a platform for luminaries in the artworld and continues haden impressive list of accomplishments.

David Walega is a photojournalist from the South Coast whose work has appeared in publications around the world.  Email him at

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