Bridging Papermaking & Art Therapy at GMU

May 21, 2012

CPP Exhibit @ Corcoran Gallery of Art

I just returned from an amazing week of events and helping co-lead a Papermaking as Art Therapy for Trauma Intervention workshop with Peace Paper’s Drew Matott at George Mason University as part of Arts, Military, + Healing: A Collaborative Initiative, — a project developed by Tappert & Associates as part of The Arts and the Military.  This week long event was hosted by the Veteran Artist Program (VAP) and included organizations and programs such as Art Therapy Without Borders, Combat Paper Project, Combat Paper NJ, Peace Paper, The Telling Project, and Warrior Writers facilitating workshops at various sites throughout the DC area.

Studio 1009 @ GMU

The workshop that Drew and I presented at GMU included presenting considerations important to papermaking, art therapy, and trauma, as well as provided participants the hands on opportunity to take a significant article of their own clothing to learn the transformative process of making it into paper.

Papermaking!

Participants de-constructed/cut up the article of clothing (rag) they brought, had this rag made into pulp, and then learned how to pull and form sheets of their own paper with an introduction to western papermaking.  Participants were also introduced to creative sheet formation (layering pulp of different colors), how to make and use screens from a meaningful photograph for pulp painting, and how to bookbind with the paper we made throughout the week.

AMH Papermakers @ GMU! | Photo: Erwin Thamm

The week flew by!  Lots of meaningful, thoughtful paper and art was reclaimed and made in Studio 1009.  It was an honor to be part of this experience and work with everyone who attended- thank you to all the participants!  Another thank you to the VAP team, George Mason University’s School of Art and Design, Helen Fredrick, and Patrick Sargent for being our hosts during this workshop…such wonderful facilities, equipment, inspiration, and support!

You can check out photos from all the amazing workshops, receptions, performances, and AMH events by viewing this slideshow from VAP.  You can also learn about upcoming Peace Paper activities & papermaking workshops in 2012, as well as follow Peace Paper’s travels and happenings through Facebook.

Update (5/23):  View this video & news piece by Nicole Goodrich from the workshop published via The Army Times.

3 Responses to “Bridging Papermaking & Art Therapy at GMU”

  1. Hannah Says:

    Gretchen, this sounds like a moving, stirring experience. I hope that someday, there will be such a workshop out here on the West coast. Cheers!


  2. [...] returning from the GMU Papermaking as Art Therapy for Trauma Intervention workshop, I was inspired and curious to discover how I could set up a DIY papermaking space that would be [...]


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