Peace by Piece with Pie


Filmmaker Charles “Killer of Sheep” Burnett once told me he viewed his film as prayers and the theatre as a kind of sanctuary. We were eating cherry pie. When I host my “Peace by Piece with Pie” I feel like I’m running an ad-hoc ministry:

  • the jigsaw puzzles = prayers 
  • the participants = congregants 
  • And everyone is eating pie. 
  • Because everything is better with pie. 

World peace, piece by piece… 


In this interactive, intergenerational, and, we hope, inspiring community-building workshop participants play and problem-solve in a mindful, social practice, using SJL’s artisan jigsaw puzzles. 

No screens, no batteries, no competition. 

Read one journalist’s experience


Sarah Jane is a warm, friendly, energetic presenter who jam packs a program with activities to connect people – strangers in fact, using her multi-level puzzles along with plain old pencil and paper for self- realization/reflections and “pie” charting. She has many unique and lovely touches to the interactive presentation starting with the use of actual plates and silverware for her home-made pies that are enjoyed while piecing together a puzzle of your choice with individuals you just met as an extreme, yet self-made mission to complete! Our attendees ranged in ages from 12 to 75. Prior to our program, Sarah Jane provided our library with a 1000 piece puzzle which our patrons are still plugging away at as passive programming. 

— Cathleen Sulivan, Oxford Free Library, Massachusetts 

Seekonk Public Library hosted Sarah Jane Lapp for the fantastic program Peace by Piece: A Puzzle Workshop (with Pie). Her unique program was customized for our interests, incorporating thought provoking discussions on identity in a fun and engaging way; the pie helped! Sarah Jane helped participants to not only enjoy completing various types of jigsaw puzzles, but reach out and get know each other. Through this program we have identified a whole new interest area in our community to encourage those connections to grow. Highly recommended! 

— Michelle Gario, Seekonk Public Library, Massachusetts

“If life were a line drawing Sarah Jane Lapp would know what to do. She’d lay a piece of paper down on the floor of her home studio and paint. Then she’d make a jigsaw puzzle from the painting. And then she would animate the puzzle pieces and create a film. Then she’d cut the film into many pieces and make valentines from the frames…Point in fact, Lapp does do all these things and she does them with an almost syncopated sense of the absurd, whether she’s drawing contrabass players on dried lima beans or making sugar packets by hand. Her practice of metamorphosis invites both mayhem and magic…Whether with her text or image Lapp deliberately uses humor to invent solutions to serious ruptures in our world. “I suspect artist-inventors try,” Lapp says, “to express their own interiority and to solve problems of the greater world.” As serious as Lapp is about her subject matter, she treats issues from all angles, always including her offbeat, sideways sense of humor. As always, the strong narrative nature of her work is present with extended line drawings. Newly discovered is a celebratory sense of color, bright, strong and brave. Each painting’s individual story line weaves in and out of a sea of colorful abandon. Instead of telling a tale with thousands of individual frames, Lapp combines her worlds one single image field. And, if that singular image manifests a better world than we currently know, so much the better.” 

— Paula Martiesian, Artist and Curator, Bank of Rhode Island 

Forthcoming Public Workshops in 2020 

  • Massachusetts: POSTPONED, thank you #COVID19 Saturday, March 14th (PI DAY!) March Bridgewater Public Library – Bridgewater, MA, 10:30 am-12:30pm. Please register here


  • Saturday, April 18  Fall River Library – Fall River, MA, 1-3pm Free…Please register here for special “Puzzles, Poetry, and Ponderings” 
    This program is supported in part by a grant from the Fall River Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency. 
  • Saturday, May 9, 1:30-3:30pm – Boyden Library – Foxboro, MA 
  • Saturday, October 22, 1:30-3:30pm – Mansfield Library – Mansfield, MA 
  • November 7, 1:30-3:30pm – Richards Memorial Library – North Attleborough, MA 

Previous Venues

  • Massachusetts: Boyden Public Library, Mansfield Public Library, Lakeville Public Library, Oxford Free Library, Dighton Public Library, Seekonk Public Library* 
  • New York: NYC Department For The Aging (employees only), Phipps Neighborhood NORC 
  • Rhode Island: Barrington Public Library, Beneficent Congregational Church, Bradley Children’s Hospital, Brown University/Sarah Doyle Women’s Center, Wanskuck Library, Mt. Pleasant Library, Rochambeau Library 
  • Washington: Seattle Public Libraries – Fremont , Greenlake 

* This program was supported in part by a grant from the Seekonk Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

© Sarah Jane Lapp, 2023