The theme is paper, and it’s a big anniversary, but far – 44 shows, to be exact – beyond “the paper anniversary.”
“Art on Paper” has now unfolded at the Weatherspoon Art Museum 45 times, through a partnership that dates back to 1965 with the local Dilliard Paper Company.
This year’s exhibition, curated by Curator of Collections Elaine Gustafson, shows off 63 compelling paper works of art by 24 artists, chosen from hundreds of submissions from artists across the nation and internationally.
The show, open through May 5, includes three striking installations that contemplate lived experiences in a contemporary social landscape.
Antoine Williams’ “Baby Boy’s Procession” (top image) depicts a moment of fear in the artist’s life through larger-than-life drawings attached to the wall with wheatpaste. His work, as Gustafson said, is most often “about being African American in America.”
Elizabeth Alexander’s “Let Him Speak First” uses wallpaper to compose and connect an abstract rug to a chandelier, with textures that examines changing and static ideas of domesticity, the nature of homemaking, and social climbing through material goods.
Sara Farrington’s “Model Home” is built to look like an IKEA-like show room, but with heavy-weight drawing paper. The full-size installation comes from the artist’s experience with attempting to meet cultural expectations such as purchasing and furnishing a home and cultivating the “perfect” domestic space.
Karey Kessler’s “A Portable Home,” is a map-like scroll that locates universal internal destinations or conceptual spaces such as “a brief and fragile moment,” “beyond reach,” and “memories of distant lands.”
The show also includes work by UNCG School of Art faculty member Sheryl Oring and 2017 alumna Kate Gordon.
Thanks to the Dilliard Fund, several works from the exhibition will join the Weatherspoon’s permanent collection, which now includes 570 works that have appeared in “Art on Paper” throughout the years.
“Art on Paper” will be open through May 5. The Weatherspoon Art Museum is free and open to the public Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Free parking is available for visitors behind the museum. Visit the Weatherspoon Art Museum website for more information.
Story by Susan Kirby-Smith, University Communications
Photography by Martin W. Kane and Susan Kirby-Smith and courtesy of Elizabeth Alexander and the Weatherspoon Art Museum