According its proponents, socially engaged art blurs the lines between
politics, community organizing and art. Projects such as community
gardens and centers, interactive and multi-generational workshops,
educational programs, and public art invoke the spirit of urgent social
transformation. The exhibition initiative Social Paper charts
the evolution of the art of hand papermaking in relation to recent
discourse around socially engaged art and points specifically to craft,
labor and site specificity, as well as the collaborative and community
aspects of hand papermaking as contemporary art practice.
urban elementary schools to indigenous tribes in Latin America to
communities of international war veterans, hand papermaking artists and
practitioners translate this medium into meaningful activity with
diverse constituencies. To date, no major exhibitions or discourse
around this important and timely theme exist. This exhibition will
contribute to new scholarship in the field of craft arts and
specifically hand papermaking, as well as feature the work of the Center
for Book and Paper Arts, a unique institution in Chicago, and the world
that supports critical discourse and interdisciplinary activity in the
book and paper arts. Visit our Social Paper exhibition blog.
A series of pedagogically-based collaborations Melissa Potter designed for artists such as Alison Knowles, the Guerrilla Girls, Laura Anderson Barbata, and Yanomami community leader, Sheroanawë Hakihiiwë to create limited editions and engage with Columbia College Chicago Interdisciplinary Arts graduate students.
Sheroanawë Hakihiiwë (right) works with Book & Paper alumni, Haley Nagy and Don Widmer.
Book & Paper alumna, Kaitlin Kostus (left) works on one of Sheroanawë Hakihiiwë.
Working for the Taller Intensivo el Libro y Papel in Caracas, Venezuela.
Working on the design for an artists' book interpreting Yanomami history for Taller Intensivo el Libro y Papel in Caracas.
Working on a collaboration with The Guerrilla Girls making banana paper for a student interactive activist poster workshop.
Creating limited editions for Laura Anderson Barbata celebrating the legacy of Julia Pastrana.
Book & Paper alumna, Boo Gilder creates papel picado-inspired pulp paintings for Laura Anderson Barbata.