BY CHRISTOPHER DERIS, BOB SNEAD, CARL JOE WILLIAMS, GARY LAVIGNE, BRYAN LEE, RONTHERIN RATLIFF, JESSICA PETERSON, KIERNAN DUNN,
& AMANDA CASSINGHAM-BARDWELL.
LOWER NINTH WARD - NEW ORLEANS, LA
Located at: 6330 St Claude Ave, New Orleans, LA 70117
Open M-F, 8-4PM
Developed to fill several needs identified by the local community, Paper Machine is an artistically revitalized property transformed into a unique printmaking ecosystem in the Lower Ninth Ward, New Orleans.
The building encompasses a 20’ kinetic printmaking installation, a new digital and analog print shop, a rotating gallery, historic print archive, and several artist studios. The facility -- fathomed from a collaboration of 8 artists -- offers free, participatory entertainment to the public, artist-focused programming, and a unique place of rendezvous and opportunity for artists/printmakers in the area. The building will be open to the public daily, and will provide a discounted/free tool and print center for New Orleans-based artists.
The exterior of the building is wrapped with a bold, graphic mural by artist Carl Joe Williams to complement vibrancy of the surrounding neighborhood. The imagery is inspired by print process and provides subtle nods to the architecture of the kinetic sculpture on the interior.
Supplementing the mural on the front facade is a intimately scaled mechanical light sculpture by Rontherin Ratliff.
The most colossal facet of Paper Machine is the kinetic, working print machine that dominates the lobby -- designed and built by artist Christopher Deris. Comically involved and incredibly complex, the sculpture, following a series of choreographed movements, will produce a one of a kind art print for the visitor to take with them. The output of the print machine is curated each month, and visitors may choose to rearrange the placement of the stamps within the press to their liking. No two prints will be identical, though they are composed of the same assets.
Beyond the sculpture, visitors will find both a dedicated gallery space and artist studios. The gallery space will rotate bi-monthly, and feature artists who use print as a core component of their work. Each selected artist will also curate print output for the kinetic sculpture. The artist studios, located on the second floor, will house six artists and will hold open studios during the exhibition openings.
Paper Machine was curated and produced by Dashboard U.S with local stewards Antenna and Southern Letter Press. After the initial opening on November 28, 2017, the building and all programming is now managed by Antenna and the Southern Letter Press. More at PaperMachine.Works.
"The completion of this project will increase our ability to serve the public five times over. Paper Machine will provide a space to enhance, amplify, and explore New Orleans’ rich printing heritage, while providing significant opportunities for artists and residents of the Lower Ninth Ward and beyond,” said Antenna’s Executive Director, Bob Snead. “We’re honored to receive this opportunity and we look forward to welcoming the public through our doors.”
Dashboard U.S. was the curator and producer of the project, alongside local members of Antenna.
R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company was also a supporter of the project.