Celebrating Papermaking

By: Lisa Hoffman, curator of education on February 12th, 2020

Paper looms large at the Woodson Art Museum. Both the Museum and the community have their roots in the lumber industry. Current exhibitions celebrate origami artists – magicians who work their wonders with paper.

Robert J. Lang – an expert paper sculptor who transforms single sheets of square paper into mesmerizing 3D creatures – will lead public programs during his Museum residency, Saturday and Sunday, February 22-23. His artwork is in all three origami exhibitions on view through March 1. One of those three, FaunaFold, features dozens of Lang’s origami works, filling a gallery.

Visiting groups of all ages and stages create origami art using brightly hued papers. Perhaps because I grew up in the shadow of paper mills that fueled the local economy, I once considered mills to be the genesis of all paper. I didn’t consider the fascinating and ancient art of handmade papermaking until I began my art museum career.

Origamido® handmade paper, from the studio of artists Michael G. LaFosse and Richard Alexander, is showcased in several of Robert J. Lang’s works. Sixty koi serenely swim up the expanse of a gallery wall – the distinctive red, orange, and black coloration embedded in the specially designed Origamido paper.

Celebrate the art of paper throughout the days ahead:

  • Happy birthday today to Abraham Lincoln, also commemorated on President’s Day, February 17.

    Mark Wagner, Hello from Tokyo, 2015, currency collage on panel

  • Make and send a Valentine’s Day card, to brighten a special someone’s February 14.
  • Visit the Museum to join Robert J. Lang’s presentation, From Paper to Steel: Origami in Other Media, on Saturday, February 22, 1-2pm, followed by his gallery walk, 2:30-3:30pm.
  • Create origami sculpture and share hands on art in Art Park, the Museum’s family interactive gallery. Woodson Art Museum admission is always free – not a single paper dollar required, but contributions are always greatly appreciated.

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