There's something about Kraft paper that I love. It's surface is versatile and lends itself well to both color and black ink drawing and painting. It's durable and easy to manipulate. It also inspired this summer's creative art challenge at the Franklin Park Art Center in Purcellville, Virginia, where participants could basically do whatever they wanted to with a piece of 6 x 2.5 foot (or more) piece of Kraft paper.
As with the previous creative challenge art exhibits at the center, I was really impressed by the various approaches and concepts used at the show. Some took on a more serious tone, such as Jill Perla's "A Tribute To Colorado Paper" (above) , which is a poetic tribute to victims of the recent Colorado wildfires. It also deservedly won the "Most Innovative" white ribbon award.
Other pieces were more whimsical, personal, or a combination of both. Frank E. Ballato III's "Mrs. ______ (You Fill in as Necessary)" (below), is a mixed media relief sculpture that addresses that nasty, terrible, condescending teacher we've all had or known at one time or another. I'm pretty sure I've seen some of Frank's pieces in past F.P. art exhibits, and I've always enjoyed the clever use of found objects in his work.
One piece that really jumped out at me and is one of my favorites is another relief sculpture called "First You Start With a Tree" (above) by Jill Evans-Kavaldjian, a piece which, in her own words "depicts the mother of a roll of kraft paper". Jill's piece also won the "Most Innovative" blue ribbon cash prize award.
Another personal favorite of mine was "Bag O' Toads"(above) by Penny Hauffe. The composition and the craftsmanship in this piece make it an all-around winner, and it has to be seen in person to be truly appreciated. As both an animal and art lover, I'm becoming a big fan of Penny's work, which utilizes both traditional and more abstract concepts and techniques. It was great seeing her work at F.P. again!
Sometimes you'll walk into an exhibit and have your mind blown by somebody's work. Such was the case for me with Kathleen Genaille's appropriately titled "Once Upon a Time" cut paper piece. We talked briefly at the show's opening and I was surprised to learn that she only just recently took up paper-cutting as an art form. It looks like she's onto something good and hopefully we'll see more of this type of art from her in the near future.
Late last month I posted about a larger piece I did on Kraft paper, which happened to be made for this particular exhibit. It was great seeing it hanging at the show (below), and it was an equally nice surprise to see that it won the "Friend's Choice" award and prize! HERE's a link to the post once again, showing the process in the making of my piece, inspired by an ancient scroll by the artist Fan Kuan.
Many thanks goes out to the good, hard-working folks who organized this fine show at the Franklin Park Arts Center, as well as to all of the artists who made it happen. The art on display is fantastic and well worth seeing in person, if you're in the area and are looking for something to do this summer, among a good number of things at Franklin Park. Don't miss "First You Start with a Big Piece of Paper..." which runs from July 9th - August 5th, 2012.