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Summer Paper and Book Arts Series Looks at the Local

An arts nonprofit is focusing on local artists and sense of place with its summer workshop series.  The Mill Paper and Book Arts Center has put together a series of three classes with the theme Locally Grown. 

Mill co-director Debbie Jircik says the goal of the series is to bring master teachers to the Northwoods to share their knowledge of art processes. 

“We have incredible artists and people in book and paper art, and incredible poets in the state, and so we wanted to celebrate them. And also have as a theme the idea of really connecting with where we are and what that’s about.”

The series commemorates Marilyn Sward…a teacher and artist who spent time in the Northwoods and was passionate about bringing arts to the area. 

This year it begins with a two-day poetry workshop this weekend, taught by state Poet Laureate Max Garland.  The second class in the series focuses on Paper and Place with teacher Robert Possehl.  Jircik says it looks at the entire paper-making process beginning with gathering the fibers. 

“Because his knowledge is so vast on all the different varieties of plant materials…it’s just a really rare opportunity to really have an intensive experience. Just that connection you have with materials when you gather them. It’s an inherently place-based relationship.”

The third course in the series focuses on nontraditional book making using found objects with Milwaukee artist Dara Larson.  

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