Open to Veterans only. Sundays from 12 pm – 4 pm. No charge. All Vets are welcome. Join the growing community. We take care of our own.
A Veterans Art Exhibition
April 26 – May 31, 2013
May 3, 2013, 5pm – 8pm
Spoken Word Reading at 6pm
34 East Main Street, Somerville, NJ 08876
The Printmaking Center of New Jersey and Combat Paper NJ present “WITNESS,” an exhibition of art created by veteran artists. The art, called ‘Combat Paper,’ has been created on paper made from the worn combat fatigues of veterans from the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam and Somalia.
The art exhibition at the pop-up gallery will feature art created during Sunday sessions at the Printmaking Center of NJ located down the street in Branchburg, NJ. The show will also feature art from previous Combat Paper workshops from all over the country, dating back to 2007.
Throughout the duration of the exhibition, the gallery will act as a working Combat Paper studio with paper and art constantly being created by veterans, communicating the idea that Combat Paper is an ongoing process.
You are invited to bear witness to the transformative process of communicating stories through art.
The gallery will be open Tuesday through Thursday 12pm – 6pm, Friday and Saturday 12 – 8pm, and is free of charge.
COMBAT PAPER NJ. DECONSTRUCT, RECLAIM, COMMUNICATE
Art is a powerful tool for change. Throughout history, art has been used to help post-conflict societies deal with the past, reconciliation and coping with trauma. Tens of thousands of young men and women are returning from combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. Many find it challenging to adjust to civilian life. A sobering statistic published in the National Journal indicates that 18 young American veterans commit suicide each day.
Combat Paper NJ is run by veterans, for veterans. It provides safe and comfortable settings where veterans can use art to help them recover from physical, psychological and emotional effects of war. In weekly drop-in sessions, on college campuses, on community centers, VA Hospitals, and Military Installations, Combat Paper NJ brings printmaking and the ancient art of hand-papermaking to all veterans from all conflicts.
Uniforms hold the dirt, blood, sweat, tears, and memories of combat that veterans experience. Each Combat Paper NJ session begins with the assembled veterans sharing their stories while deconstructing their uniforms. The process is cathartic and transformative.
The deconstructed fibers of the uniform are beaten into pulp using specially-designed papermaking equipment, creating a slurry of uniform fibers and water. Sheets of paper are pulled from the pulp and dried to create handmade Combat Paper.
Sheets of Combat Paper become the platform for veterans to communicate their stories through art. Veterans integrate drawings, photographs, iconic images, and words into their Combat Paper using silkscreen and other printmaking techniques they are taught. Each finished work of Combat Paper art tells a profoundly personal story.
EVERYONE BECOMES A WITNESS
Public forums and exhibitions of Combat Paper are important opportunities for veterans to talk about their military service. These forums also help the public better understand what combat vets have endured. These interactions begin to bridge the gap that causes isolation and despair, helping veterans recover and move ahead with their lives.
COMBAT PAPER IN THE NEWS
FOX News Channel came out to our Sunday Session on June 10th, 2012 and aired a Live segment of Combat Paper NJ. You can view the segment by following the link below:
Combat Paper NJ was featured in The Star Ledger. Click the link below:
Combat Paper NJ aired on PBS Jim Lehrer’s Newshour on April 30th, 2012. You can check out the video and other links below:
Step By Step How to make Combat Paper:
Asbury Park Press wrote a great article on our time at Monmouth University in April 2013: