Co-curated by Jessica Cochran and Melissa Potter
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.
From 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.