Gallery takes new look at paper

Exhibit comes to art district on Santa Fe

“Butterfly Gown” by Bovey Lee will be in the exhibit, “Paper Work,” open June 20 at the Center for Visual Art, Metro State University’s gallery. Courtesy photo
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“In contemporary times, paper has become ubiquitous, taken for granted and often wasted. With digitized communication and multiple movements towards preserving natural resources, we speak of paperless transactions. (`Save a tree.') We reduce, reuse, recycle, yet we are surrounded by this everyday material,” writes creative director Cecily Cullen of The Center for Visual Art, Metropolitan State University's handsome gallery at the north end of the Santa Fe Arts District.

Instead of heeding all those “r” words, CVA has challenged nine national and area artists to treat paper as a creative medium and the three-dimensional results promise to be astonishing, judging from the sample photos we have received.

Readers will want to visit “Paper Work,” which runs from June 20 to Aug. 2 at the CVA.
Minnesota artist Liz Miller will create a site-specific installation and will talk at a sneak preview at 5:30 p.m. on June 19. The show officially opens on June 20 and runs until Aug. 2, with an opening reception from 6 to 8 p.m., in conjunction with the Arts District's Third Friday.

The MSU Art Department will offer 2-D and 3-D design classes, with a focus on paper, concurrently with the exhibition and will challenge students to create work to be considered for exhibition in the Emerging Artists Gallery from July 15 to Aug. 2, so one may want to plan a return visit. (In the early part of the show, youth in the ABC Young Artist Studio Program will show their artwork in the Emerging Artists Gallery.)

Colorado artists Diane Martonis and Susan Porteus investigate architectural and geographic space, while Anne Hallam, Dawn McFadden and Jennifer Ghormley, also Colorado-based, tend toward organic forms in nature, Cullen said.

Brooklyn artist Mia Pearlman's intricate layers of cut paper suggest forces of nature and weather patterns, while Pittsburgh's Bovey Lee draws from traditional Chinese folk art, combined with personal contemporary imagery.

Melissa Jay Craig, who lives and works in Chicago, writes about her preferred medium: “I work with handmade paper specifically for its minimal environmental impact, its utter versatility, its enormous variety and for its deceptive strength, contrasted with its perceived fragility.”

In addition to the June 20 opening reception, from 6 to 8 p.m. on July 10, CVA will offer “Paper Manipulations: 3-D Investigations Workshop,” led by assistant professor of art and exhibition artist Anne Hallam and Ben Dyhr, assistant professor of mathematics.

A related show, “Pulp Mastery,” with works by Mary Ellen Long and Melissa Jay Craig, will be at the Abecedarian Gallery, 910 Santa Fe Drive unit 101, June 20 through Aug. 2.

If you go:

The Center for Visual Arts, CVA, is at 965 Santa Fe Drive, Denver. Admission is free. Hours: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays; noon to 5 p.m. Saturdays. Open first and third Fridays until 8 p.m. “Paper Work” runs June 20 to Aug. 2. 303-294-5207, msudenver.edu.