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Thursday, June 25, 2015

Why Not Paper, Indeed? The Art of Clemson University Art Department Alumna, Kristen T. Woodward, at Riverworks Gallery

Kristen T. Woodward [Clemson University MFA in Art, 1993] might answer, "Why Not Paper?" with "It must be paper." She explains "Paper suggests a skin that holds the memory of each fold, tear, or embedded element. Unlike a blank canvas or wood panel that waits for the image to be introduced, the paper work starts to carry visual information in its initial formation, before the first pigment is applied." Her compositions begin with basic plant fibers (usually iris and cotton) sometimes adding found paper bits. Each unique sheet of paper is hand screened, possibly layering the pulp to build a support in relief. Finally Woodward applies pigment to complete her colorful, abstract images. Woodward continues, "By growing and harvesting indigenous plants to be made into paper I'm able to control all of the variables in the final support; from color variations and texture to the amount of internal sizing."

Woodward chooses to work in series, and several of her series are represented in Why Not Paper?. Some paintings were inspired by the formal compositions of Navajo and Chimayo textiles. Others speak to self-portraiture and personal choice with painted images on papers embedded with photographic elements and Chinese "joss" (money). The paintings in Why Not Paper? may originate from differing inspirations but all share the unique tactile energy of handmade paper.

Kristen T. Woodward holds a BFA from Syracuse University and a MFA from Clemson University. She is currently a Professor of Art and Department Chair at Albright College in Reading, Pennsylvania where she teaches painting, printmaking, and disciplinary courses in Latin American graphic art, and gender as related to the arts. She is represented in numerous permanent collections including the Federal Reserve Bank, Sexton Industries, The Shearwater Corporation, The Cottonlandia Museum, Wachovia Bank, Adams State College, Lockhaven University, Cooper University Hospital, and the Center for the Study of Political Graphics of Los Angeles. She is also the Resident Curator for

RIVERWORKS Gallery is operated by and for the faculty and students of the Department of Visual Arts at Greenville Technical College. The gallery is located at 300 River Street, Suite 202, along the scenic Reedy River in downtown Greenville, South Carolina. 

For more information, call:
Fleming Markel, Manager                   
RIVERWORKS Gallery                         
(864) 271-0679 or email                             
or visit  

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