Guild of American Papercutters
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GAP Museum Shows Its Colors
What’s Black and White and Easily Red?If these words remind you of the old riddle about a newspaper that is “black, white, and read all over,” it isn’t a coincidence. The wordplay is intended to pique the public’s curiosity and bring visitors to Laurel Arts’ Guild of American Papercutters gallery to see exactly what these three colors represent.
The fun is more than a riddle for members of the Guild of American Papercutters. The use of black, white, and red as a theme has been interpreted by 15 GAP member artists for their newest GAP National Museum exhibit at the Philip Dressler Center for the Arts.
Open since May 1, the show will continue until mid April of 2013.
Each of the 25 paper-cuttings on display is hand-cut and original in design by paper artists whose cutting tools include the x-acto knife, scissors and even sheep shears (the traditional Polish tool of choice for Carolyn Guest, Vermont). Each artist’s imagination offers a unique, personal expression adhering to the three-color theme.
A variety of creatures appear in the designs. Pennsylvanian Trudy Kauffman’s “Two Elephants Went Out to Play” details a circus performance; while “Mr. Red,” a rooster with fluffed red feathers, submitted by Carolyn Guest of Vermont, struts and swaggers. Richard Schuchman’s “Red Riding Hood,” shipped from Florida, includes a menacing wolf, which adds a shiver of apprehension to the scene.
Several cardinals appear in a variety of settings: Patricia Stuntz, Pennsylvania, delicately embossed snow flurries behind her water-colored and paper-cut bird. Virginian Marie Helene Grabman added flocks of the red birds to rest in 3-D tree branches, while Pennsylvanian Kathy Reed’s “Winter Woodlands” displays only a few perched on bare branches. Gene Toutsi, Virginia, applied her signature collage style in a circular, symmetrical “Winter Cardinals” and in “All Heart,” which utilized magazine paper and cut paper-dolls.
Other heart-themed applications by Linda Harrill Peck, Pennsylvania, include “My Valentine” and “Tree of Hearts.” David Jenkins of Virginia cleverly portrayed “Courtly Love” using a King and a Queen from a deck of cards.
Red florals also found their place within the theme: Ellen Lengel, Minnesota, placed “Kitties Hiding in Hollyhocks,” while Christine Smith, Pennsylvania, featured the “Bleeding Heart.” Roses appeared in papercuttings by Patty Kile of Pennsylvania, Robin McElvain, Texas, and in “Flor y Flamenca” by Gianna Paniaguia, Pennsylvania. Joyce Yarbrough, Missouri, represented her “Favorite Butterfly.”
Additional framed “Black, White, and Easily Red” papercuttings translate the theme and await the visitor. The large glass museum case is also filled to fit the color theme with a variety of small cuttings of trees based on the poem “Trees” by Joyce Kilmer.
In other news, we would also like to congratulate the 26 guild members who are participating in their first international show. Their papercuttings will be on display at the Scherenschnitte Musuem in Vreden, Germany. The exhibition will open June 10 and is scheduled to conclude September 10.
An ancient art form, papercutting is becoming increasingly popular as a medium for contemporary artists. See www.papercutters.org for more information about the Guild of American Papercutters, whose home office and GAP National Museum have been housed at the Philip Dressler Center for the Arts for more than three years.
P.O. Box 414 • Somerset, PA • 15501