A Conversation with Paper: IAPMA Members Exhibition by Jacqueline Mallegni
Lauren Sinner June 26, 2020
A Conversation with Paper is an invitational exhibition curated by Jacqueline Mallegni. Her invitational proposal of twenty USA artists to participate in the exhibition was accepted by the International Association of Hand Papermakers & Paper Artists (IAPMA) and galleryFRITZ |Projects in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The motivation and inspiration for the exhibition was to highlight paper artists whose work represents the breadth and diversity of papermaking and paper art and to share ideas about papermaking, pushing the medium beyond craft.
The title for the exhibition emerged from the IAPMA mission statement regarding the importance of sharing ideas and process among its membership, and how the role of paper as an art form is manifested into a wide range of outcomes. The artwork featured in this exhibition showcases a small group of artists working with paper as medium globally. Currently, the IAPMA has 558 members from 44 different countries. The IAPMA website provides a gallery space for all members to showcase their work, as well as acting as a forum for members to publicize upcoming workshops, exhibitions, and other paper events.
During the artists zoom conversation questions and thoughts were brought forward such as:
- What do you think people are missing about your work when they only see it online, and what do you think people appreciate more about it from seeing it online rather than in person.
- Why does it have to be either/or (digital or for real)?
- Maybe we should have more of both worlds to get the most out of visual art, and maybe that is what’s evolving now”
- Is it Craft? Art? Does it matter?
- How is it viewed differently in the USA,Canada, Europe? Asia? Other regions?
- Why are so many woman using paper?
- Is it considered woman’s work?
- Is beauty enough?
- How is it affected by the Anthropocene?
- Has your work changed during the pandemic?
As you can see a conversation about, with and for paper is vast. Also, how is paper seen relative to contemporary art? We all agreed that including paper and form as medium rather than textile changes its appreciation by art viewers, galleries and museums formally dedicated to paper at craft.
The exhibition was scheduled to be on display from April 24-May 29, but due to Covid-19 precautions we transformed it into an online exhibition that can be viewed here.
A brief IAPMA history. The International Association of Hand Papermakers and Paper Artists is the worlds leading organization for paper artists. It was founded in 1986 in Düren, Germany, when paper as an art medium was far less well-known than it is today. While paper history and production are one facet of the Association’s activities, the central focus is the role of paper as art form and as a contemporary artistic medium.
The Association’s main objective is to facilitate an international exchange of artistic ideas and share information about hand papermaking and paper art. IAPMA aims to provide the opportunity for members to work together, collaborate on artistic projects and exhibitions, share solutions to technical problems, explore different paper-related cultural backgrounds, and encourage new approaches to paper arts. To this end, each year one Bulletins and six newsletters are produced: the newsletters provide information about exhibitions, publications, projects and techniques involving paper; the Bulletins are professionally produced magazines with handmade paper covers and samples which feature individual artists, papermakers and their ideas. All members are invited to share information with other members through the newsletters and Bulletins.
A Conversation with Paper Artists Include: Pat Alexander, Yun Gee Bradley, Eva Camacho-Sanchez, Jocelyn Chateauvert, Nicole Donnelly, Emily Duong, Jennie Frederick, Lori Goodman, Joan Hall, Helen Hiebert, Jane Ingram Allen, Barbara Landes & Paul Sullivan, Elizabeth Mackie, Jacqueline Mallegni, Anne Marble, Teddy Milder, Marie Noorani, Jill Powers, Priscilla Robinson, Nicole Uzzell, and Gibby Waitzkin.