Warriors-turned-artists facilitate healing with paper handmade from their own uniforms

Combat Paper
September 25 – November 16
Artist’s Talk: Wednesday, September 25, 6:00 p.m.
Combat Paper Project co-founder Drew Cameron
Opening Reception: immediately following Artist’s Talk, 7:00-9:00 p.m.
Herron School of Art and Design, Basile Auditorium, Eskenazi Hall

Veterans achieve a form of catharsis through the transformative art of papermaking, pressing their own uniforms into service as the raw material in works of art. Papermaker, book artist and veteran Drew Cameron, who co-founded the Combat Paper workshops where the art is made, will speak on opening night and will be on hand for several additional public events between September 23-27.

“Coming home from war is a difficult thing,” writes artist and veteran Drew Cameron, founder of the Combat Paper Project. “There is often much to account for as a survivor.” In his own search for meaning, Cameron discovered that papermaking can be a transformative process that broadens “the traditional narrative surrounding the military experience and warfare.”

Since 2007, the Combat Paper Project, which Cameron co-founded, has grown from its San Francisco base and travelled to Canada, England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Kosovo providing workshops, exhibitions, performances and artists’ talks.

breaking rank by drew cameron

Drew Cameron, Breaking Rank

An exhibition of works from Combat Paper will open in Herron School of Art and Design’s Berkshire, Reese and Paul Galleries in Eskenazi Hall on September 25, running through November 16. Cameron will give an artist’s talk on opening night at 6:00 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Surrounding Cameron’s visit, there is a full slate of activities at Herron and in the broader community. At Herron, he will work with students and the public in a variety of ways, dovetailing with the school’s Book Arts and Art Therapy programs. In addition to the exhibition opening activities, Cameron’s visit is scheduled to include:

Tuesday September 24: A papermaking workshop open to the public from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. in the Eskenazi Fine Arts Center, 1401 Indiana Avenue. Lunch provided from Noon to 1:30 p.m.

Wednesday September 25: Classroom visit at Eskenazi Hall with Art Therapy graduate students from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and Book Arts students in the afternoon.

Thursday September 26: A papermaking workshop open to the public from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. in the Eskenazi Fine Arts Center, 1401 Indiana Avenue. Lunch provided from Noon to 1:30 p.m.

Friday September 27: Classroom visit with Book Arts students from 9:00 a.m. to noon.

Persons interested in attending the workshops can RSVP to Paula Katz at katzp@iupui.edu to reserve a seat and lunch. Participants may bring a piece of clothing that they would like to incorporate into the batch of paper that will be made during the workshop.

November 1-16, in the Marsh Gallery: Combat Paper companion show of veteran-made art.

November 9, 2:00 p.m. in the Basile Auditorium of Eskenazi Hall: “Veterans Reclaim Armistice Day”. National Book Award for Fiction winner Tim O’Brien leads a panel discussing literary expression as a means of coping with PTSD. A project of the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library.

November 13, 7:00 p.m., in the Basile Auditorium of Eskenazi Hall: Screening of The Ghost Army

Herron Art Library to showcase its collection of artists’ books in First Friday event

Work from the Herron Art Library’s museum-caliber collection of artists’ books will be on view at the opening of a new exhibit this week.

Herron Art Library is part of the IUPUI University Library, which is partnering with the Harrison Center for the Arts to sponsor an exhibit titled “Spineless,” an Indianapolis Downtown Artists & Dealers Association First Friday event. The exhibit opening reception starts at 6 p.m. Friday, Aug.2, at the Harrison Center for the Arts, 1505 N. Delaware St. in Indianapolis. The artwork will be on view until Aug. 30.  Both the reception and exhibit are free and open to the public.

“Spineless” builds on four years of successful collaboration between the library and the Harrison Center to promote local and regional book artists in the field of fine arts. Work from 16 artists was chosen for this juried show to take place in the Harrison Gallery. As in the past, the University Library will award a $400 prize to the best in show. Opening night will feature a selection of books from the Herron Art Library’s permanent collection as well.

Also returning this year to give a hands-on talk about artists’ books is nationally recognized book arts dealer Bill Stewart of Vamp & Tramp Booksellers.

The Herron Art Library’s collection of artists’ books contains many forms of the book arts, including fine press books illustrated by artists such as Mark Rothko and miniature books, some conveying powerful messages addressing social and family issues of personal significance to the respective book artist. Artists’ books often become a personal extension and means of expression of a significant event or issue in an artist’s life.

Significant book artists represented in the Herron Art Library collection include Julie Chen, Ron King and Rebecca Goodale, plus local book artists, Bonnie Stahlnacker and Karen Baldner. New additions to the collection can be seen in the newly redesigned artists’ book alcove at the Herron Art Library on the IUPUI campus, 735 W. New York St., Indianapolis.

Any resident of Indiana is eligible for an IUPUI University Library card. Our resources and librarians are also available on the University Library website. Browse the online collections to learn more about the road to Indiana statehood, the history of the National FFA Organization, writer James Whitcomb Riley and much more, or contact a librarian specialist for help with professional and school-related research.