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WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. - The Lycoming College Art Gallery will open its 2012-13 exhibition season with "Combat Paper," Sept. 13-Oct. 11, in the College's Art Gallery in Snowden Library. An artists' reception will be held Thursday, Sept. 20, from 4:30-6 p.m., with a gallery talk by David Keefe and Eli Wright.
"Combat Paper" is comprised of work from artists involved with the Combat Paper Project, which utilizes art-making workshops to assist veterans in reconciling and sharing their personal experiences, in addition to broadening the traditional narrative surrounding service and the military culture.
Through papermaking workshops, veterans use the uniforms they wore in combat to create cathartic works of art. The uniforms are cut up, beaten into pulp and formed into sheets of paper. Veterans use the transformative process of papermaking to embrace their experiences in the military.
Through ongoing participation in the papermaking process, combat papermakers attempt to progress from creating works specific to their military experiences to expressing a broader vision of militarism and society. The works reflect both the anger of the past and hope for the future. Through the collaboration between civilians and veterans, a much-needed conversation is generated regarding society's responsibility to the returned veteran, an understanding of the dehumanizing effects of warfare and the role of art in society.
"The story of the fiber, the blood, sweat and tears, the months of hardship and brutal violence is held within those old uniforms," stated Drew Cameron, founder of the project. "The uniforms often become inhabitants of closets or boxes in the attic. Reshaping the association of subordination, of warfare and service, into something collective and beautiful is our inspiration."
The Combat Paper Project works out of art studios throughout the United States and has traveled to Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia, where it has provided veterans workshops, exhibitions, performances and artists' talks. This project is made possible by a multifaceted collaboration between artists, art collectors, academic institutions and veterans.
In conjunction with the Lycoming exhibition, the College's art department is bringing two young veteran artists, Keefe and Wright, to present a public gallery talk and attend a day of art classes to work with students interested in hand-made paper processes. Keefe and Wright's work will be featured in the gallery exhibition and they are the co-founders of the Combat Paper New Jersey studio, based at the Printmaking Center of New Jersey. More information on Combat Paper can be found at www.combatpaper.org.
Lycoming College is a four-year, residential liberal arts and sciences school dedicated to the undergraduate education of 1,400 students. Located near the banks of the Susquehanna River in Williamsport, Pa., the College fosters academic rigor, a supportive faculty and successful outcomes. It offers 36 academic majors and is recognized as a Tier 1 educational institution by U.S. News & World Report. Founded in 1812, Lycoming is one of the 50 oldest colleges in the nation.
Combat Paper Art
Combat Paper Art