Archive for July, 2016

Paperworks – Why It Works

July 5, 2016 Comments Off on Paperworks – Why It Works Paperworks 2016 Winners

The Paperworks exhibition has been a great favorite of bj spoke gallery members and visitors since the gallery first put out a call for paper art in 2005.  Why?  There is always something new, astonishing, original to be seen – and it’s all about what can be done with paper or on it.

Barbara Grey the bj spoke member/artist who ran the first Paperworks competition recalls how it all started.  She and several other artists attended a paper work shop at Dieu Donné and came home with the idea for a new show in which all the works would be created from paper or made on paper. (To see what this organization does with paper visit  The juror was Faye Hirsch, Senior Editor at Art In America. Barbara recalls that the slides the artists sent (yes, that’s how it was done in those days) were just fascinating. “It had never occurred to us that such things could be done with paper,” she says.  Two examples from that show are Bridges II (artist Joyce Utting Schutter) and Evidence #1 My Coat (artist M. Laine Wyatt).  You can see what Barbara means.Joyce Utting Schutter

The jurors for many of these shows have been gifted curatorial staff members from major museums: the Museum of Modern Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art.  This year’s juror was Heidi Hirschl of the Museum of Modern Art.  She has been a part of the team working on the Modern’s exhibit of Degas monotypes.  Through the years, the artists have come from all over the United States with the occasional artist from Europe.

Lorraine Nuzzo, bj spoke’s Gallery Director has taken on the running of the Paperworks show this year, overseeing the 6 month process of producing the show from start to finish. “Paperworks is one of my favorite exhibits at bj spoke because I never know what to expect” she says. “The art surprises and inspires me.  It’s the type of exhibit that lures the viewer back again and again.”

Through the years, we have seen so many clever ideas created by paper artists, from graphite drawings and photography to 3d paper installations.  And it is always a surprise when the work comes in and we see it in person. We were so pleased and honored to have Beatrice Coron’s Grand Bibliotheque in one show.  For a taste of what her work is like, see her TED talk at ( She makes her entrance in a cut paper cloak.)

I asked Kevin Larkin, gallery president what stands out from our years of Paperworks competitions.  He particularly remembered the wall installations.  There was one made of used coffee filters that looked like fungus growths attached to the wall.  Another involved 600 white paper cones held with pushpins.  “I don’t think our walls ever recovered,” he said.  “I still find those little tiny holes in the wall.”  We talked about what makes Paperworks so special.  Kevin thinks that it’s the paper itself, its fragility and its ephemeral nature. “Looking at the works, you can find yourself in a meditation about the nature of the material.  Also, artists are forced to create with a limited range of options.  Of course, when one white paper cone comes in, that’s nothing special.  But when 600 come in – well then you’re in business.”


Yuki Abiko - Tulips

Yuki Abiko – Tulips


Ye-Seul Choi – Transformation

Here’s a sneak peak at some of this year’s Paperworks picks:  The first is an installation by Ye-seul Choi.  The second a photograph by Yuki Abiko.  For a bigger sneak peek, go to and look at the blog posts for Paperworks 2016.  Better yet, come see the show in August.  It runs from August 2 to the 28, and there will be a reception on Saturday evening August 6 from 6:00 to 9:00 PM.

So what makes Paperworks work? Its the paper.  It’s the people.  It’s the fun.


Article by Liz Ehrlichman, an artist member of bj spoke gallery 299 Main Street, Huntington, NY 11743.