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Paper—An Enduring Medium

Curated by Gibby Waitzkin, our Distinguished Artist of the Year

On Display in the Hayloft Gallery
April 10 – June 5, 2021

Additional Ways to Engage with 'Paper-An Enduring Medium'

Exhibition Info

Gibby Waitzkin - Studio Space

Paper —an Enduring Medium is curated by Gibby Waitzkin, the Floyd Center for the Arts’ 2021 Distinguished Artist of the Year. Waitzkin is a paper artist living and working in Floyd. Waitzkin’s creative process is grounded in traditional methods of paper-making and natural, locally-sourced materials. She grows and harvests bamboo, banana, iris, lilies, papyrus, grapevines, thistle, and artichoke on her thirty-acre farm off the Blue Ridge Parkway. She then cooks, processes, and forms these materials into paper using methods that date back over 2,000 years. 

Photo by Patterson Lawson

For Paper —an Enduring Medium, Waitzkin has brought together artwork by herself and four other paper artists: Char Norman, Nicole Uzzell, Bryant Holsenbeck, and Georgia Deal. The exhibition features 2-D artwork, sculpture, and mixed-media installation. All five artists explore themes related to the environment including climate change, conservation, and the relationship between man and nature.

Paper —an Enduring Medium includes work from Waitzkin’s recent “Truth Continuum” series that explores topics related to the current pandemic. Waitzkin commented on the series, “As I was creating the Truth Continuum, I started using the boat form to symbolize the journey all of us take in our lives; especially people affected by changes in immigration, the environment, and sexual preference. During COVID-19, our journeys have become even harder. As we think about what‘s been happening- 'we’re all in the same boat’, but quickly we realize everyone’s journey through this pandemic is very different.”


Mutualism, an exhibition of work by artist Langley Anderson, is also opening on April 10th in the Floyd Center for the Arts’ Falcon Gallery. Anderson’s vividly colorful digital photographs merge the disciplines of art and science. The exhibition runs through June 5, 2021. 

Related Programs


Making Paper from Plant Materials: Outdoor Paper-Making Demo 

Taught by Gibby Waitzkin   

Free and Open to the Public  

May 1st, 10:30am-12:00pm, 2:30pm-4pm

Floyd Center for the Arts

Meet the Artists
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Georgia Deal of Asheville, NC
Georgia Deal is Professor Emeritus and former Chair of the Printmaking and Papermaking Program at the Corcoran School of Art & Design of George Washington University in Washington DC. Former teaching experience is at Munson-Williams-Proctor Institute in Utica, NY, and as Resident Printmaker at the Smithsonian’s American Art Museum (then, the NCFA). Grants include Maryland Individual Artist Grants, the Washington Project for the Arts, and NY State Council of the Arts.
 Workshops abroad include the University of Georgia’s Study Abroad Program in Cortona, Italy, the Skopelos Foundation for the Arts, Skopelos, Greece, the Santa Reparata School, Florence, Italy, and in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. U.S. workshops include the Penland School of Crafts, NC, the Paper & Book Intensive, MI, Arrowmont School,TN and the Haystack School in Maine.  Her work is in collections including the Philadelphia Museum, the Library of Congress, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, and Yale University Library amongst others.  She currently lives in Asheville, NC and is proprietor of the papermaking studio, Swannanoa Paper.  This past year, she was invited as Guest Editor of Handpapermaking Magazine, featuring prints and handmade paper
Bryant Holsenbeck of Durham, NC
Bryant Holsenbeck began her arts career as a basket maker. Since then she has evolved into an environmental artist who makes large-scale installations that document the waste stream of our society. She has shown her work and taught throughout the United States and Australia. 
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She has been the recipient of 2 North Carolina Arts Council Fellowships, a Project Grant and an NEA Arts and Learning Grant that she worked on in collaboration with the Chapel Hill Public Arts Commission. In 2013 she was an artist in residence at Moulin à Nef in Auvillar France.
In 2010 she lived a full year without using single-use plastic. She continually uses what she learned in that year to make a smaller foot print on the environment. Her book, The Last Straw: A Continuing Quest for Life without Disposable Plastic, was published in the fall of 2018. She is also an independent studio artist who makes books, birds, and other mostly animals sculptures out of recycled materials.
Artist's Statement:
For me being an artist means expressing what I see in the world around me. Looking at what I am curious about, like what birds might be in my yard at any given moment,  and asking larger questions of the world, like how is climate change affecting these same birds.
What does wild mean?  Where is our wild life?  We want wild life in our parks and open spaces, but not in our back yard.  We want nature to behave, to listen to us.  We like to look at nature, are thrilled when we see animal tracks, or a deer in the woods, but are not happy at all with a mouse in the closet, hornets on the back porch, or squirrels in the bird feeder. A paradox of our modern life is, our wild places are shrinking, our knowledge of wild usually a secondary occasional thing, yet wildness is everywhere.  Even as we reduce the size of our open spaces with more and more malls and developments, nature continues mutating and surprising us.
For this show I have made herons, owls and juncos. These animals are part of my ongoing observation of the wild world around me. Herons have been adapting to our ever-changing world.  Wherever there is a body of water, if we are lucky we might see a heron.  Though I have seen a few owls in trees when I am sitting quietly inside, mostly I hear them and am always grateful for their presence. As for the Juncos, early this winter I spent a weekend watching many of them feed on the seed dropped from a feeder in the North Carolina Mountains. They were puffed up to protect themselves from the snow.  I learned they were called snowbirds.
I feel grateful to live where wild life still exists.  May this be so for future generations.
Char Norman of Columbus, OH
Char Norman is an accomplished fiber artist specializing in papermaking and fiber sculpture. She received a Master of Fine Art from Claremont Graduate University and a Bachelor of Art from Scripps College. She has lectured and exhibited extensively both nationally and internationally. She has developed and conducted workshops for all ages, worked as a consultant to area schools and community arts organizations, held the positions of Associate Provost and Dean of Faculty at Columbus College of Art & Design and has returned to the studio as a fulltime professional artist. 
Artist's Statement
The work I am engaged in stems from a deep-rooted connection to natural objects and environmental issues while examining the relationship between man and nature. 
Reverential attitudes and nurturing acts contrast with the destruction of nature.  The pod forms I use are both a type of shroud for natural relics and a womb or cradle for rebirth. This dichotomy of ideas is further expressed by the mending of natural objects through the violent act of stitching and fastening parts together.
I find it fascinating and somewhat meditative to achieve a whole through the slow and gradual building up of small elements. Weaving is based on this principle and my drawing technique mirrors this idea as I layer graphite and colored pencil to create the image. Even the fibers in my handmade paper echo the idea of small units building to become a whole.
Manipulation of materials and the use of traditional techniques in surprising or nontraditional ways are challenging and engage me in problem solving. The engineering necessary to create a three-dimensional piece on a loom intended for two-dimensional processes and the use of soft materials to form substantial objects is of particular interest.
As I continue to explore natural relics as icons, votives, or objects of reverence, I hope to engage the viewer in a way of seeing that may lead to a respect and appreciation for the environment.
Nicole B. Uzzell of Germanton, NC
Nicole Uzzell was raised in New Jersey and moved to NC to attend UNC-Greensboro and Winston-Salem State University. She received a MFA from Lesley University College of Art and Design in Cambridge, MA. Uzzell currently is a professor of Art at Salem College and Forsyth Technical Comm. College while teaching clay handbuilding at the Sawtooth School for Visual Art in Winston-Salem, NC. Uzzell lives and maintains an active studio practice at the base of Hanging Rock State Park in the foothills of Stokes Co., NC. 
Artist's Statement
Experimentation and a mix of humble materials, primarily paper, guide my sculptural forms. Environmental concerns and women’s issues are central to my practice.
By imploring a hunter/gatherer style in both urban/rural settings, it provides a strong connection to place and a new purpose for reusable materials. The process is part alchemist/part witches brew, laborious and repetitious.
Oscillating between strength and fragility, nature and industry, decay and beauty — my artwork contains skilled craftsmanship and the reckless abandonment of allowing materials to shape the outcome. 
Gibby Waitzkin Portrait

Photo by Patterson Lawson

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Gibby Waitzkin of Floyd, VA
Gibby Waitzkin, is a paper artist living in Floyd County, Virginia- a place her parents discovered in the mid-60’s. Her green studio, built in 2008 is located on a thirty-acre farm off the Blue Ridge Parkway, includes recycled wood from site, collection of rain water for paper studio, insulation from recycled paper, and an exterior green wall. Her education and training focusing on photography, printmaking and art education at the University of Georgia and graduate work at Georgia State University. Using her art skills, she became a community organizer in civil rights and the environment in Atlanta, Georgia and then on the lower East Side of New York City, in urban agriculture and green energy solutions. After working on these issues in the Carter Administration., she formed Gibson Creative, a design, marketing & communications company working on non-profit issues- climate, the environment, healthcare, women and the arts.
In 2000, after facing serious health issues, she returned to her primary love-art, to start an intensive dive in to hand papermaking using the ancient methods from plants. She grows, harvests, processes and makes paper from bamboo, banana, iris, lilies, papyrus, grape vines, thistle, artichoke -any plant with fiber. She has exhibited and taught workshops all over the country, including Floyd Center for the Arts, Piedmont Arts Center, Pyramid Atlantic, Hahn Center at Virginia Tech, Black House, Durham Arts Council, NC Museum of Art, Sarah B Duke Gardens, Raleigh Fine Arts, Penland, Olin Hall Galleries, Meredith College, Hollins Museum, and the Women’s Museum at Arlington Cemetery.
Gibby believes in giving back, and has served on many Boards over the years- the Washington Project for the Arts, the Corcoran Galleries & College of Art and Design, Nasher Museum Friends, SustainFloyd, and most recently, the Voters’ Participation Center-assisting millions of the rising American electorate to be registered to vote for the first time. In her work, she has striven to create things that are aesthetically pleasing, but underlying each work is a philosophical statement which derives from her decades of community organizing and political activism.
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