A NEW EXHIBITION CURATED BY ARTIST JASON HUGHES AT THE STAMP GALLERY
Opening Reception THURSDAY, November 1, 5-8PM
Veterans Week Kick-off Reception will be held on Monday, November 5, 2-5PM
Selections from the Combat Paper Project is an exhibit curated by Jason Hughes, which brings audiences closer to the veteran experience through artwork and creative writing projects produced through collaborations between veterans and civilians since 2007. Combat Paper was founded by book and paper artist Drew Matott and Iraq vet-turned-artist Drew Cameron as a non-profit organization that conducted workshops around the country teaching military vets how to make handmade paper out of their old uniforms. These uniforms are transformed into paper pulp through traditional papermaking processes by pulverizing, dying and forming the pulped uniforms into sheets of paper and paper castings. Veterans then collaborate with artists and other workshop participants to utilize this paper in creating original works of art by adding their own designs, imagery, and text in order to reconcile and share their “personal experiences as well as broadening the traditional narrative surrounding service and the military culture”.
The project is an ambitious one. Not only is the papermaking process long and time consuming, it is also an emotionally taxing one. However this transformative process allows veterans and their families to embrace their experiences in the military by producing works of art that reach beyond their personal experiences through encouraging them to consider the greater implications of war by “expressing a broader vision on militarism and society” at large. Likewise, through veteran and civilian collaborations in the papermaking process a much needed conversation takes place centered around our responsibility to veterans once they return home and “an understanding of the dehumanizing effects of warfare”.
“The story of the fiber, the blood, sweat and tears, the months of hardship and brutal violence are held within those old uniforms. The uniforms often become inhabitants of closets or boxes in the attic. Reshaping that association of subordination, of warfare and service, into something collective and beautiful is our inspiration.”
– Drew Cameron Combat Paper co-founder
Veterans participating in the Combat Paper Project come from across the United States. The Stamp Gallery will be showcasing works by Chris Arendt (Army/ National Guard), Jesse Albrecht (Army/National Guard), Margaret Mahan (Civilian), Drew Matott (Civilian), John La Falce (Civilian), Robynn Murray (Army), Jose Soto, Anthony and Faith Sgroi (Navy), Margaret Mahan (Civilian), and Matt Lunn (Marines).