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ODU’s Gordon Galleries to Host Free Papermaking Workshop for Active-Duty Military Members, Veterans

For the past few months, the remnants of combat uniforms have been on display at Old Dominion University's Baron and Ellin Gordon Art Galleries - as artwork.

The Combat Paper Project is a traveling show that saw military veterans turn their actual combat uniforms into artwork as part of the healing process. Working with artisans, the veterans first turned their uniforms into paper, then used the paper to fashion moving works of art.

In conjunction with the show, the Gordon Galleries is hosting a papermaking workshop by John La Falce from Sept. 4-7. The four-day workshop will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day in the studios of ODU's Visual Arts Building. It is free and open to up to 20 active-duty military members, veterans or family members.

Replicating the process of the Combat Paper Project, participants will use uniforms worn in combat/service to create cathartic works of art. The uniforms will be cut up, turned into pulp and formed into sheets of paper. The transformative process of papermaking reclaims the uniform as art and provides a shared experience for veterans and their families. The blending of paper fibers represents a tangible interconnectedness, combining the act of service and obligation of support between the civilian and military communities.

La Falce, a multimedia artist, is a faculty member at North Country Community College, a studio technician for BluSeed Studios and the head of BluSeed Paper Mill. He received a B.F.A. degree in painting in 2002 from Buffalo State College and has been a participating member of the Combat Paper and Peace Paper projects from their inception. His works have been shown throughout the United States, Mexico, Australia and the United Kingdom and are in numerous special and private collections.

This workshop is presented in conjunction with the "Combat Paper Project" exhibition featured at the Gordon Galleries through Sept. 9. To participate in this free four-day workshop, call 757-683-3029 or email fbayersd@odu.edu.

The Baron and Ellin Gordon Art Galleries are located on the campus of Old Dominion University in the University Village, at 4509 Monarch Way, Norfolk, Va. For more information about this and other programs, call 757-683-6762.