NEWPORT NEWS—A new exhibit titled, The Possibilities of Paper will open on June 30 at the Mary M. Torggler Fine Arts Center, located on the campus of Christopher Newport University at 1 Avenue of the Arts in Newport News.
The wide-ranging exhibit will feature works from 13 artists from across the United States and Canada, who all work with paper a little differently. According to Holly Koons, executive director of the Torggler Center, the one thing the artists have in common is they are using paper in ways that are often unintentional or unanticipated.
“We have artists that are using techniques, in many cases time-honored techniques such as collage, paper cutting, folding, weaving, and other techniques that have been out there for a long time,” said Koons. “But they’re doing this either on a grand scale that is unusual or with a kind of precision that is quite remarkable. So, these artists are creating paper sculptures in ways that seem almost impossible.”
While there is no central theme to the exhibit, the artists are using reimagined common paper products such as books, piñatas, maps, and paper plates to create surprising new identities for everyday objects, while grappling with themes including identity, spirituality, history, the cosmos, and the creation and destruction of knowledge.
“One of the most exciting aspects of contemporary art is the way that artists continually challenge the kinds of objects that can be considered worthy tools for artmaking,” said Koons. “At the same time, they unfailingly find new possibilities for artistic materials that have been used for centuries. This exhibition offers a window into that creative process among artists who choose to explore the possibilities of paper.”
Another exciting aspect of the exhibit is the pieces will be built on-site at the Torggler Center. When the exhibit is over, each piece is disassembled, never to be put together in the same way again.
“That also makes the exhibition quite special,” said Koons. “We will have installations that will never exist in the same way in another setting.”
Artists participating in the exhibition include Elizabeth Alexander, Jaq Belcher, Roberto Benavidez, Doug Beube, Charles Clary, Myriam Dion, Samuelle Green, Guy Laramèe, Rosa Leff, John Noestheden, Matt Schlian, Eric Standley, and Michael Velliquette.
Exhibits at the Torggler Center are free and open to the public. The Possibilities of Paper will run through October 15, 2023.