Paper on the River

Paper on the River

© 2021 Leigh Suggs, photo by Stacey Evans.

The Sunday Paper #356

March 28, 2021

Arnold Grummer’s announces a Call to Artists for Paper On The River (formerly Paperfest). Artists working with handmade paper are invited to apply, and the submission deadline is August 20, 2021. Arnold Grummer’s is also having a March Madness 3-day sale, with 10% off everything including sale items. Click on shop after you enter the show and use the promo code MM10 at checkout.


I am a fan of the work of Leigh Suggs, whom I met at Penland over a decade ago. Following an election that narrowly escaped attempts to weaponize the US Postal Service, her Postal Quilt series is inspired by notions of security (or false security) as well as the collective labor done by the essential workers who continued to keep our mail moving. Suggs collected thousands of security envelopes from people all over the country (specifically the ones marked by patterns designed to obscure the contents). The focus of making this work with community-harvested materials highlights the complexity and impossibility of true security.  We all rely on these patterns and a government-controlled system to deliver or receive personal and private information. These patterns conceal our private lives, offering us protection or coverage just like a security blanket. This large Postal Quilt (8′ x 10′) is created with over 16,000 interlocked folded paper components. Suggs collected envelopes from 45+ donors and had 4 people helping consistently with sorting, cutting, folding and assembling as she worked on this through the entire pandemic.

© 2021 Leigh C Suggs, close up of Postal Quilt, Folded security envelopes, 96 x 120 x 1 in, photo by Stacey Evans.

The Women to Watch: Paper Routes exhibition will be on display in the South Arkansas Art Center’s Merkle Gallery from Monday, March 29 until Wednesday, May 26. The traveling exhibition features work by four artists showcasing work that utilizes paper as a medium. All That I Love, by Joli Livaudais, consists of 1,200 origami paper beetles of varying sizes made of aluminum, pigment ink, resin, and kozo paper. Each origami beetle in the installation is created from a photograph printed on paper, and the SAAC exhibit features origami beetles crawling along the gallery floor and walls.

UK-based artist Antara of Craftifact has a unique take on making paper houseplants by framing and making them into three-dimensional wall art.

As seen on My Modern Met.

This is an important profile of Faith Bartley and the People’s Paper Coop in Philadelphia, an organization that is turning shredded criminal records into sheets of handmade paper while helping women who come out of prison get back on their feet.


Papery Tidbits:


In the Studio: 


Although there is still snow on the ground and senseless acts of violence continue to puncture our lives, I can feel spring in the air and my thoughts linger on hope and transformation. This butterfly begins as a book (look at the smallest cut shape) and as its grows outwards, the book shape transforms into wings.

Join me at a FREE hour-long Zoom workshop on April 5th and create your own butterfly book. I’ll also be talking about The Paper Year, my membership program, that features a monthly paper project and a community of paper lovers.



Featured this week in my Studio shop:

The Paper Year (opens for registration later this week), The Papermaker’s Companion, Prism, an artist’s book, and Try It! Shadow Ornament tutorial.


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