I’m excited about the upcoming exhibition, “Paper: From All Sides”, at Tohono Chul Park in Tucson. It opens next week on Thursday, January 24 from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
The show is all about artwork highlighting ways in which paper can be used creatively. There will be all kinds of interesting, beautiful and unique work. Artist-made books, handmade papers, collage, sculptural paper and more will be shown.
Paper in a variety of art forms is getting long overdue recognition in the art world these days. I’m seeing more and more exhibitions featuring paper in the art magazines and in the news. This makes me and other artists who enjoy using paper as a part of their art practice very happy.
We are at an interesting place in history where physical books are being displaced by electronic versions. And paper is gradually being replaced by electronics as well. No revelation here, we all know this. What I find interesting is the way in which this puts real, physical books and paper into a different category than before. As books and paper are threatened with becoming obsolete (not yet, but eventually) a new possibility opens up for artists. And that is an upsurge in interest in using paper and books as creative vehicles for art-making. I can’t help but think that part of the renewed interest in paper and book arts is being motivated by the realization that they may not always be such common items. Instead of being so ubiquitous that we virtually don’t even notice them, paper and books may some day be a rarity. When a material becomes less available it gets more respect. I hope that eventually that the various paper arts will get the respect it deserves from the art world.
Work using paper in creative and unusual ways tends to be challenging to display. For example, artist-made books are often displayed in cases in order to protect the book, making it impossible for visitors to handle and turn the pages much less admire the texture and details on each page. On the other hand if the book is accessible to viewers, even with gloves available, there’s always a chance that it could be damaged.
My previous experiences as a participant in exhibitions at Tohono Chul have been positive. Installations by the capable curators Ben Johnson and Edie Wageman have been beautiful. I have a feeling they’ll come up with unique and thoughtful ways of presenting the work in this show.
There are quite a few members of PaperWorks, a wonderful organization based in Tucson, who have been included in the exhibition. I highly recommend anyone who is interested in book making, paper making, collage and other paper arts and crafts to have a look at the website. And if you’re in the area, come to a meeting and see what you think. All the information you’ll need is on the website. There are quite a few out-of-town as well as out-of-state members who benefit from the wonderful newsletter, workshops and publications by the group. I’m very happy that I joined the group and have gotten increasingly involved in it.
Below is the invitation to the upcoming exhibition. Entrance to the Park is free on the evening of the opening.
I am pleased to have one of my pieces included in the exhibit.