Tag Archives: paper art

Celeste Cooning’s Paper Work

5 Apr

Photo by Antony De Gennaro

For nighttime enchantment, nothing beats a stroll down Broadway near the Pantages Theater where you’ll come upon two luminous new installations, by Celeste Cooning and Nicole Linde.

Celeste Cooning creates magical, 3-D environments out of paper. For Spaceworks Tacoma she created The Golden Hour at 912 Broadway, an installation that evokes the overblown lushness of a Jurassic garden in luscious colors of pink and gold. Huge tree fronds, fluttery botanical forms and a honeycombed heart are incised with intricate patterns that allow the warm light to pass through. Using stencils, Cooning cuts all the patterns by hand from 4-5 ft. sections of paper or tear-resistant Tyvek.

“My formal training is rooted in a figurative painting tradition,” she said in an e-mail exchange. But an experiment with cut-paper panels led to working with wall-size shapes which she arranges so the effects of light and shadow become active elements.

"The Golden Hour" by Celeste Cooning

Cooning’s work references the vibrant cut-paper art of Mexico and China: “As I became more invested in the medium, the vast history of the cut-paper tradition quickly surfaced. I am certainly inspired by both my contemporaries and the many traditions spanning cultures around the world,” she notes.

“Long before I thought about cutting paper, I was lucky enough to see work by Japanese artist Yuken Teruya. He cuts and folds magical little trees from paper bags.” Cooning is creating her own unique path in the paper medium: “Not having any set rules about cut paper gives me tremendous freedom. The biggest challenge is having too many ideas and possibilities than I can keep up with.” The Golden Hour, 912 Broadway, through July 1.

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Nearby The Golden Hour on Broadway is Nicole Linde‘s sparkling light installation, The Crystalline Garden. Inspired by a season spent in Iceland, Linde’s candy-color lightscape is framed by wintry, stripped branches and shines like a star-sprinkled, sci-fi altarpiece to Thor. It’s another good reason to take an evening art walk by the Pantages Theater and the Woolworth Building. The Crystalline Garden, 908 Broadway, through July 1.

Laurie Cinotto’s Ephemera

8 Oct

Paper fantasy by Laurie Cinotto. Photo: L. Cinotto

Laurie Cinotto crafts beautiful objects from paper. Her nostalgic bouquets of delicate crepe blossoms, whimsical three-dimensional paper garlands, and miniature birdcage lantern ornaments suggest the handiwork of some nimble-fingered Victorian doyenne channeled through Martha Stewart. Indeed, one of Cinotto’s original paper-and-fabric-flower wedding bouquets landed last year in the pages of Martha Stewart Living (she has also appeared as a guest artist on Martha’s Weddings blog). Her contemporary collection of sweet collectibles is available locally at fly, a boutique that sells artists’ products on Broadway.

The Tacoma-based artist operated her own floral event business for a decade (creating extraordinary, strangely beautiful arrangements, as this writer can attest), but quit in 2009 to turn to crafting fulltime. “Floral work is hard work, and it’s stressful, too,” she says. “Fresh flowers are perishable, so it’s always a race against time when you’re working with them.” Trading in hothouse flowers for the more permanent variety she found herself making helped eliminate stress and stimulate the creative process. What’s more, “As soon as I made the commitment, so many amazing opportunities started rolling in the door. Things I had been dreaming about for years started happening.”

Birdcage paper lanterns. Photo: L. Cinotto

Two of Cinotto’s most popular creations are her corsages and boutonnières – small, poetic assemblages designed from fabric with all the trimmings: ribbon, feathers, tiny birds, buttons, even real starfish. These aren’t your mom’s prom corsage, or the lapel flower your dad assigned to his best man. “Every piece is carefully taped, wired and stitched,” she says. “I don’t take shortcuts when it comes to craftsmanship. Each composition is carefully considered, and I pay great attention to detail.” She credits much of the pieces’ nostalgic charm to the vintage materials she scours for at thrift stores, antique shops and estate sales.

Cinotto is currently working on a book and paper flowers kit for Barnes & Noble, due out in 2011. She teaches crafting classes at her home studio (information at www.lalalaurie.com), runs an Etsy site (www.etsy.com/shop/lalalaurie), and participates in local events such as the popular craft fair, Tacoma is for Lovers. You can find her work at fly, 904 Broadway, open Thurs., Fri. & Sat. 12-5.

Holly Senn on Broadway

7 Oct

Look closely at the large display window at 908 Broadway – that’s not a mirrored reflection of the Pantages Theater’s grand facade you see, but an exquisite rendering of some of its architectural details, made from paper. Artist Holly Senn created Re-Present, an ingenious installation funded by Spaceworks Tacoma, using pages torn from aged books to mold the classical botanical forms that are usually made of plaster. The Pantages Theater, built in 1916-18 by Seattle architect B. Marcus Priteca, was designed after a theater in the Palace of Versailles.

Re-Present (detail) by Holly Senn

Re-Present marks a departure for Senn, whose earlier work focuses on biomorphic shapes such as seed pods and buds. The new work, presented against a black backdrop, embodies a formal, stylized elegance in key with the landmark that inspired it. Senn notes that “the block that the theater now occupies was once the site of, among other things, Tacoma’s first library” – an uncanny detail, given that the artist culls her working material from discarded library books (she is also a virtual reference librarian at Pacific Lutheran University). “Theaters present the ideas of playwrights, composers and choreographers – later generations recompose or reenact some of these performances,” she says. “In this installation I reinterpret architectural details from the exterior of the theater. This theme of re-presentation is related to my interest in how knowledge is transformed over time.” Re-Present is on view at 908 Broadway through Jan. 5, 2011.

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