Posting Date: May 8, 2013
“A Paper Affair” opens in the Fine Arts Gallery
Exhibition features works made from paper
By Shira Kerce
Crystal Wagner works on the installation of "Urban Kudzu"
"Urban Kudzu" installation in progress shows both
empty chicken wire (left) and completed areas filled with
The completed "Urban Kudzu" piece
Paper might seem like an everyday object to most of us, but to the three unique artists exhibiting in “A Paper Affair,” paper can be turned into almost anything. Curated by Professor Valerie Dibble and School of Art and Design student Mersia Martin, with help from KSU alumna Emily Knapp as graphic designer, the exhibition will run in the Fine Arts Gallery May 8-June 7, with an opening reception Wednesday, May 8, from 5-8 p.m.
“A Paper Affair” features the works of artists Jaynie Crimmons, Lucha Rodriguez and Crystal Wagner, all of whom have created print-making, mixed-media installations and prints for the exhibit. The artists’ works are primarily constructed from paper and repurposed materials, illustrating the diverse nature of the outwardly simple object. “We hope visitors to this exhibit will see that paper has an amazing potential as an expressive contemporary art medium,” Dibble explains. “Paper transcends the two dimensional form, and there is fun in exploring a seemingly mundane medium where printed paper comes to life.”
Crystal Wagner, an assistant professor of art at Georgia College in Milledgeville, Ga., has exhibited throughout America, including New York City and San Francisco. For “A Paper Affair,” Wagner created a piece titled “Urban Kudzu” that features artificial materials such as chicken wire, birthday decorations, streamers and plastic tablecloths. Wagner explains that the piece represents the increasing divide between humans and their natural environments. “We exoticize the natural world because we are not connected to it,” she says, and her piece is designed to look as if the plastic and paper materials are growing naturally in the landscape of the gallery.
Wagner began work on the site-specific installation a week before the exhibit’s opening, and she enlisted the help of many KSU art students to complete the piece. Students helped Wagner tear the streamers into small pieces and then fill every hole in the chicken wire. “It is a very time-consuming process,” Wagner admits, “but it is nice to actually spend time creating something when our everyday lives are so fast paced and hectic. Also,” she adds, “it has been wonderful to engage with the students!”
Jaynie Crimmons, a New York City based artist, and Lucha Rodriguez, who is originally from Venezuela but now lives in Atlanta, are also exhibiting their works in “A Paper Affair.” Crimmons’ current work examines the minutiae of domestic life and consists of shredded printed household papers (such as catalogues, letters, etc.) that are then re-contextualized and meticulously sewn back together. Rodriguez is a neo-pop experimental printmaker, graphic artist and avid drawer who enjoys color at its brightest palettes. She has exhibited throughout the world, including Mexico, India, France and Hong Kong.
“A Paper Affair” is a result of a new program hosted by the Bernard A. Zuckerman Museum of Art that allows KSU faculty or students to propose an exhibit during the summer. “They strive to provide unique opportunities in the summer and are particularly attracted to ones that engage students,” Dibble explains. KSU students are involved in all aspects of “A Paper Affair,” from curation and installation to serving as gallery assistants once the exhibit is open.
“A Paper Affair” will be open in the Fine Arts Gallery in the Joe Mack Wilson Building from May 8-June 7. Gallery hours are Mon-Thurs 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and Wed-Thurs evenings 7-9 p.m.