The University of North Carolina at Pembroke News Release

 August 2016

The Art of Paper 7th Annual International Juried Exhibition

Curated by Nancy Palm

On View: August 17 through September 16, 2016 Reception and Gallery Talk: Thursday, August 25, 5:00-6:30pm

Juror: Reni Gower, Artist and Professor of Painting and Printmaking at Virginia Commonwealth University

Selected Artists: Elaine Abbe, Barbara Bernstein, Molly Bosley, Annemarie Coffey, Jaynie Crimmins, Margaret DeLima, Kim Faler, David Garrett, Kristina Lyle, Aaron Pennington, Laura Post, Laura Stein, Sally Schluter Tardella, and Heather Whidden.

PEMBROKE, N.C. – The A.D. Gallery is pleased to present a juried exhibition that offers a progressive approach to the medium of paper. These selected artists utilize a range of contemporary means to build on the timehonored, thousands-year-old medium of paper. Some artworks reflect upon historical methods of papermaking, while others bring an entirely contemporary, non-traditional scope to the material at hand. The Art of Paper highlights the versatility of paper as matter that can be at the same time heavy and weightless, metaphoric and real, corporeal and ethereal. The end result is a range of ideas and aesthetics creating a delightful and provocative ensemble of art.

A number of artists in The Art of Paper focus on the materiality of paper itself. Kim Faler, for example, translates the precious notion of paper into a series porcelain panels with hand drawn images of paper balls tossed across their surface. Barbara Bernstein explores the capabilities of paper to create shadow, line and shape. By highlighting the impermanence of paper, Bernstein turns notions of mass and weight against their opposites, light and air. Heather Whidden creates whimsical yet weighty allegorical scenes by folding, cutting, tearing and sewing handmade paper. Kristina Lyle cuts by hand and assembles quarter-inch strips of paper into seemingly countless color arrangements and patterned designs. Each of these works unsettles fixed ideas about paper and it’s physical and expressive characteristics.

Many of the exhibited works use paper to create metaphorical objects that explore and unpack human relationships. Sally Schluter Tardella, for example, creates architectural structures out of paper that become metaphors for the human body. Aaron Pennington seeks out connections between signage, representation and identity by hand painting on paper what is instinctively understood as computer-generated imagery. David Garratt recycles otherwise discarded paper to explore the process of regeneration. His hanging paper forms remind the viewer of the usefulness and materiality of paper, even after it has exceeded its intended use. Jaynie Crimmins also uses discarded paper in her art. Her shredded junk mail sculptures are scrupulously sewn and rolled together into elaborate and provocative textural sculptures that interweave narratives about both her own beliefs and behaviors and consumer culture more broadly defined. Annemarie Coffey bases her paper collages on epic film stills, thereby reducing recognizable visible imagery in order to explore space, identity and juxtapositions that become more visible in a non-narrative format. Molly Bosley crafts large-scale narrative papercuts into delicately haunting silhouettes that suggest the chaotic downfall of humanity through atomic-age imagery.

While these other artists are more focused on the materiality and metaphorical potential of paper, Hong Hong turns her attention to technique. The artist utilizes traditional Japanese methods of papermaking to create large-scale installations that map natural fluctuations, such as weather, within our immediate surroundings. Hong’s artwork envelops the viewer through its size, scope and overwhelmingly evocative character.

The Art of Paper also features a six-and-a-half foot tall papercut by Reni Gower, Professor of Painting and Printmaking at Virginia Commonwealth University, who served as juror for the exhibition. Gower utilizes repetitively structured and analytical approaches in her art to create complex images that, in her words, counter visual skimming. Her beautifully detailed papercuts incorporate the motif of the circle into intricate patterning. The viewer is invited to contemplate her provocative juxtaposition of a seemingly infinite configuration, which suggests a technological means of creation, with the reality of slow, nuanced, handmade construction. The Art of Paper includes two- and three-dimensional artworks, all constructed with paper, all of which invite us to reevaluate the possibilities and meanings of paper in its material and metaphorical forms. While some works maintain the materiality of paper itself, others completely transcend it. The works in this exhibit collectively challenge our notions of paper and what it can achieve.

For further information on the gallery, the exhibition, or the artists, please contact A.D. Gallery Director, Nancy Palm, at (910) 775-4264 or email

This exhibition is free and open to the public. The A.D. Gallery is supported through University of North Carolina at Pembroke student activity fees.