Against the grain

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Artist Delaney Smith works with paper and bookmaking. She earned her Master of Fine Arts in fibers at the University of North Texas.
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Artists challenge ideas about paper, wood

Fiber — both in its rustic and manipulated forms — is the star of the latest exhibit in the Gough Gallery at the Center for the Visual Arts.

“Paper + Wood” brings the work of two artists together. Delaney Smith and Shelley Scott consider the fragility of paper and the versatility of wood in the Greater Denton Arts Council show. Both artists play with traditionally functional fiber mediums, transforming bits of wood and paper into aesthetic curiosities.

Scott’s focus is on wood sculpture, but her approach is not what you learned in high school wood shop. Scott collects twigs, branches and just about anything that strikes her imagination. Inspired by their forms, she patches together wood pieces using a stack-lamination process, relying on her artistic hunch to guide her to her goal.

Stack laminate is a process that presses Scott’s finds — whether they’re nearly identical or disparate — into a smooth, whole surface. This unconventional process results in pieces of ambiguous beauty that challenge our conceptions of what wood needs to be.

The sculptures suggest a familiar form — maybe a piece of furniture — but compel viewers to consider the decorative nature of what she’s made.

In a similar vein, Smith explores the idea of the book in its purely physical form, encouraging viewers to abandon their conceptions of books. Smith’s pieces begin with no words, no script to follow. Soft and malleable, her works seem to bend to the viewer’s will.

“Paper + Wood” will begin with a reception from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, with both artists in attendance. The exhibit runs through Aug. 23.

Admission is free. The Center for the Visual Arts is located at 400 E. Hickory St. Gallery hours are 1 to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.

For more information, visit www.dentonarts.com.

— George Joseph


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