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New Art Exhibit: Paper Shapers

Release date: January 31, 2012

In Paper Shapers, a new art exhibit at Goucher College, seven artists highlight the ways paper can be manipulated, showing much more than sheets, pieces, or scraps through folding, cutting, rolling, piercing, layering, weaving, and molding.

The exhibit, which is free and open to the public, runs in the Silber Art Gallery on Goucher's campus from Tuesday, January 31, through Sunday, March 4. The art can be viewed Tuesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. An artists' closing reception will be held Friday, March 2, 6-9 p.m. Call 410-337-6477 or visit www.goucher.edu/silber for more information.

Artists Jaime Bennati, Joe Cypressi, Elizabeth Dove, Scott Hazard, Jason Hughes, Leslie Shellow, and Renee van der Stelt each use paper as their medium-whether it is cut-up dictionary text, woven money, or tightly folded paper-to express a variety of messages and emotions.

Paper artist Jaime Bennati hopes that by gathering often-overlooked materials, she can lead viewers to question the way humans impact the environment. She has begun to work on projects that encourage community involvement, and her most recent work involved collecting discarded bus tickets in a city in central Brazil, where an average of 200,000 are thrown out daily.

The scale, surface texture, and organic configuration of Joe Cypressi's recent works-large, organically inspired sculptures-mean they do not neatly fit into interiors and seem more suited to open, sunlit, exterior spaces. This is where the pieces are most provocative because they command space, attention, and close examination.

Elizabeth Dove cuts up dictionaries, letter by letter. This activity produces a pile of letters that she calls text dust. The fractured words represent the inability to forge or decipher meaning despite the possibility of doing so. Visual and conceptual dualities underlie Dove's work: mind and body, structure and chaos, the known and unknown, public and private, word and image, memory and experience.

Scott Hazard's photographic and text-based constructs consist of layers of images or paper that are carefully torn or cut, spaced apart, and aligned to define a sculptural void. In the text-based works, the movement and placement of words in and around composed landscapes provides for a kinesthetic reading experience. With a seemingly endless amount of stimulation available, most people are unable to let some of the more subtle aspects of the world reveal themselves. Hazard's work temporarily provides an opportunity for a different presence of mind.

Jason Hughes makes weavings with shredded money to explore the ideas of labor, value, and worth. These highly crafted works not only illustrate the painstaking process, but also the disparity between skilled labor and industry in the United States. By carefully reconstructing dollar bills previously removed from circulation and shredded by the government, he reconstitutes a new set of values on the otherwise-worthless strands of money.

While walking in the woods, along seashores, and near riverbeds, Leslie Shellow closely observes growing and dying organisms and reflects on their intricate patterning and interactions. In her work, Shellow invites viewers to notice things they might normally disregard or overlook and to remember the world that goes on outside their awareness. She draws and cuts every piece by hand, and the task takes months or years to complete.

Renee van der Stelt's drawings are scored and folded paper that reveal repeated actions and emphasize the variation of form produced through slight alterations of movement. The same action is never the same: It is always different, but made with few tools: paper, knife, ruler, pencil, time, energy, and light. Her intention is to ask a question, not to produce a product.