Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Handmade Paper Guild Show at the Kalamazoo Civic Theater

Welcome to the annual exhibition of the Handmade Paper Guild of Southwest Michigan! This year the theme of the show corresponds to the list of plays that the Kalamazoo Civic Theater will be performing during their 2009/2010 season. Each artist was to choose a play and use it as an inspiration for their piece of art. Just some of the many plays on the schedule are: Fiddler on the Roof, Twelve Angry Men, It's a Wonderful Life, Twelfth Night, The Dixie Swim Club, Jekyll and Hyde.

Here is the Kalamazoo Civic Theater in downtown Kalamazoo. It is a spectacular community theater venue and the show is up in the reception room.

(As a side note, the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts is right across the street. Aren't we lucky?)

Ok, first my piece. You know the one: Being Brave or also called Covering-Handmade-Paper-with-Acrylic-Paint-and-Tar. If you've read my previous posts, you saw how I made this piece and why I just made that crazy reference. But, what you don't know is the inspiration for it. My piece is called Bailey Park in honor of George Bailey of It's a Wonderful Life fame. George always did what was right for others and only realized the value of his life and his contributions to his little town when he found out he was in some serious trouble. My piece, featuring the homes that he helped build, pays homage to those that work hard for their families, their homes and their town. The textural background represents the light and dark periods in our lives.

Bailey Park by Lorrie Grainger Abdo
Inspired by It's a Wonderful Life
Mixed Media: Artist-made paper, acrylic paint, bitumen, 2' x 4', $350

Mr. Martini's by Lorrie Grainger Abdo

Inspired by It's a Wonderful Life
Mixed Media: Artist-made paper, acrylic paint, bitumen

This large piece was a collaborative effort by Guild members. Many contributions were made at the conceptual stage. Then in the execution stage, some members dyed the paper, some cut out the figures or made other design choices, and some engineered the final piece. The inspiration for this was the play Twelve Angry Men.

Shots of a variety of member's work. (Sorry about the pictures. Lighting and glare problems.)

Each piece was created by an individual artist in the Guild. Some members are teachers, some are full-time artists/papermakers, some are part-time artists, and all are good people with wonderful creative talents. Techniques represented in the show are: sheet pulling, pulp pouring, pulp painting, collage, stencilling, painting, paper engineering, bookbinding, paper casting, printmaking, papier mache and several others that I'm not sure what to name.

Artists for the pieces shown below are: Dale Menz, Alice Breese, Rose Mary Wood, Liz Faust and Judy Finnegan. Other artists participating in the show, and to whom I apoligize for not having close up photographs of your work are: Tom Hirsh, MaryJo Peterson, Joan Khaled, Eve Reid, Sally Padley, and Lauren Matacio.

What I love about our annual show is the variety of styles and techniques. Every one of us is a papermaker. But, what we each do with that paper... Wow! If you're in the area, please stop by during business hours to see the show. Or, better yet, go see one of the amazing performances and visit the show during intermission or the reception. This show is just one of the many ways our community celebrates the wonderful marriage of visual and performance arts.


PS. All work is for sale and at very reasonable prices, I might add.


Joanne Huffman said...

What a great array of wonderful art. I love your pieces and I really enjoy the variety of art from the other talented artists of your guild.

Carolyn said...

Hi Lorrie - I really love your Bailey Park piece. I'm always searching the internet for pieces written on George Bailey... it's nice to see some artwork as well. I'm a big fan of his and the movie, and I recently wrote a song called 'George Bailey.' I would love for you to take a listen... you can do so off of itunes or my website. Have a good night!

Willow said...

Thanks so much for sharing the guild show with us!! I love the creativity!! And who would have thought that the arts would be so celebrated in Kalamazoo...but then again, why not?? Thanks again for sharing your process and your end work of art!!!

Kathy L said...


It was so wonderful to see the show through your eyes. Your piece turned out incredible. THank you as always for your comments. I do try to keep up the blog but boy oh boy, it is so hard as we enter Nutcracker season!

Lorrie Grainger Abdo said...

What fun comments! And who would have thought that I'd hear from a musical artist about George Bailey. :)

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