Where Fashion Meets Craft: The Paper Runway

Posted March 10, 2010 in Press Releases

This summer, Houston Center for Contemporary Craft presents The Paper Runway, a juried exhibition of extraordinary paper clothing and accessories. The show will be on view in the large gallery, June 5 – September 4, 2010, with an opening reception on Friday, June 4, 5:30 – 8:00 PM.The Paper Runway is a juried exhibition of nearly 50 stunning works of paper clothing and accessories. Featuring everything from handcrafted evening gowns to men’s vests, jewelry made from magazine pages, and a suit made from lottery tickets, each garment-inspired artwork is created from different types of paper. Materials range from recycled cotton rags and coffee filters to various handmade papers, created from fibers like abaca (banana leaf) and kozo (mulberry bark). The featured works encompass a dazzling array of patterns, textures, colors and exquisite detail. Some pieces would look right at home on the couture runways of Paris; others are inspired by the wild beauty of nature. Some pieces are whimsical and innovative, and others have a deeply personal story to tell.

The selected works were created by artists from the United States and from countries around the world, such as England, Chile, Israel, Tibet, Japan, and Canada. Though most work included in the exhibition is for display only, The Paper Runway also presents the work of Deepak Shrestha, a renowned artist from Tibet who makes shifu clothing. Shifu is a craft specific to the Himalayas that involves creating wearable, functional garments out of paper. In keeping with his native land’s tradition, Shrestha uses the Daphne plant to render long fibers that are made into paper sheets. The sheets are cut into thin strips and rubbed against rocks to form string. Shrestha and the artisans he works with use this paper string to weave cloth on a loom that is transformed into durable clothing for people to wear.

The Paper Runway was organized by The Robert C. Williams Paper Museum, Georgia Institute of Technology.

The exhibition’s curators include Winnie Radolan, Senior Lecturer in Papermaking at the Book Arts and Printmaking Department at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Mariana Kaplun, Lecturer at the Catolica Universidad in Santiago, Chile; Kate Martinson, Professor of Textiles and Paper at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa; and Cindy Bowden, Director, and Juan Chevere, Program Coordinator, of the Robert C. Williams Paper Museum at Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Georgia.

Opening Reception
Friday, June 4, 5:30 – 8:00 PM
A celebration of fashion and contemporary craft, in conjunction with the opening of In Residence 2009. Featuring open studios and avant-garde body adornments created by the current artists-in-residence.

Gallery Talk by Cindy Bowden
Saturday, June 5, 11:00 AM
Cindy Bowden, Director of the Robert C. Williams Paper Museum and Co-Curator of The Paper Runway

Mary Headrick (mheadrick@crafthouston.org)
Houston Center for Contemporary Craft
713.529.4848 x 107