Art students learn the beauty behind making paper

Claudia Lee Art reception. | Shelby Kee

On Tuesday night, Union’s Art department hosted a lecture followed by a reception and art show for the work of Claudia Lee. Claudia Lee is the owner of Liberty paper and loves to produce art with the different types of paper that she makes in her studio apartment.

The title of the art show was Paper and the Stitch. Lee’s reasoning for the name of the show was that most of her work now consists of both. She started as a textile fiber artist. When she was in college she walked into the art studio and saw someone practicing papermaking. The moment she saw it she was intrigued and knew that was what she wanted to do.

Batik Lamp made my Claudia Lee. | Shelby Kee
Batik Lamp made by Claudia Lee. | Shelby Kee

Lee makes all the paper that she uses in her projects. She does this because she wants to have control over what paper goes into her art. She describes paper as the “missing link”.

“The paper becomes part of the project,” she said.

She used copies of her grandmother’s journal in some of her art pieces along with a lot of different textures. The key to staying motivated as an artist is “working to get inspired,” which she explained as faithfully staying dedicated to her craft even when she doesn’t necessarily want to. She encouraged art students to do the same, and said hard work will result in inspiration instead of vice versa.

Melinda Posey, assistant professor of art, has taken a class that Lee offers, which inspired her to invite Lee to Union. She considers the artist’s work both useful and beautiful. Papermaking is not the usual type of art that is showcased in studios, and Posey said she wanted her students to get a different perspective of studio art.

“Our students usually get to see practicing artists, but not papermakers. She is one of the few in Tennessee,” Posey said.

The art studio will be showcasing Lee’s work from October 11 through November 25.


Image courtesy of Shelby Kee|Cardinal & Cream