"Endangered Species: Found Paper" is a collection of collages created by 16 members of the Atlanta Collage Society. Curated by internationally recognized collage artist John Morse, the exhibit features dozens of work that concentrates on the idea that paper is almost considered an ancient artifact now. With airline tickets being sent via email and newspapers going online instead of hard copy, it really seems that way.
"Paper, as we knew it, even ten years ago, is beginning to be closed out. ... We may be the curator of the last ticket to the Metropolitan Opera," said Barbara Dunham, the president of the Atlanta Collage Society. "We're aware of our historical value, as well as our artistic value, and that's what a little bit of the show is focused on: It may be trash to other people, but in a sense, it truly is historically treasure."
Paper and paper products, of course, are an essential part of collage-making. Dunham said that collages can be basically "anything you can glue down," such as buttons, feathers and plastic cartons, which can be found in many works in "Endangered Species." She added that the goal of Atlanta Collage Society, as a whole, is "to enhance the public's understanding of collage as a fine art, not as a craft."
In the exhibition, while each piece follows the central theme of paper, most are radically different from one another. One has stamps incorporated in it, another's made with old newspaper clippings, and one is even made of old maps.
Dunham also noted that one of the interesting things with collages is that many observers try to find the different layers that make up the piece, which many were doing at the opening reception Saturday, as part of the Art Stroll in the Village.
"We try to have that element of mystery that all artists do, where you want to look behind the layer and see what's behind it," said Dunham.
ART Station and the Atlanta Collage Society collaborated for about a year to detail the society's first exhibit at the Stone Mountain Gallery. During this time, the two organizations agreed on a theme, and the artists began making their art within the span of at least six months. The society also had Melanie Bugg, a collage artist and owner of Maxwell Gallery in Atlanta, to be the juror of the exhibition and pick the best three collages, to which the artists received cash prizes from the society. Honorable mentions were also awarded to three artists.
The three winners include: Jaymie Crimmins in first place for "Shield I," a circular, three-dimensional piece made of shredded personal papers, thread, beeswax, lace and more; second-place winner Lance Carlson for "Friends Soon," depicting a girl and a dog from book clippings, Campbell soup labels and other items; and Andrea Baetti took third place for "Take Out Wine Conversation," made of a cardboard carton box, broken eyeglasses, foil wine tops and more.
The other ART Station exhibition, the Juried Art Exhibition #3, also had a top-three picked by juror Eddie Granderson, the public art program manager of the Office of Cultural Arts for Atlanta. Dozens of artists created work with acrylic, pastel, ink, watercolor, oil, pencil, wood and even twine in order to win a top-three spot for a cash prize, and 43 artists were picked to show off their works in the exhibit. Three honorable mentions and a juror's award were also chosen out to this exhibition's artists.
First place went to David Wolstenholme for "The Hooch," a detailed acrylic painting on a wide canvas. Sitting behind a thick, unpolished wooden frame, the picture depicts a rocky riverbank (probably the Chattahoochee River) with autumn trees and magnificent colors. The scenic drawing goes for $450.