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'Recycled Realities' on exhibit at Bannister Gallery Oct. 1-29

John Willis and Tom Young. 'Paper Mountains and Recycled Realities'

John Willis and Tom Young. 'Paper Mountains and Recycled Realities'
The photography of John Willis and Tom Young will be on display in Bannister Gallery from Oct. 1-29. An artist’s reception will be held on Thursday, Oct. 1, from 5-8 p.m.

“Recycled Realities” explores the powerful narratives of a paper mill by a river in an otherwise pristine vista of forested mountains in western Massachusetts, not far from where Willis and Young live.

Below the mill's smoke stacks lies an expanse of soft white forms made from bundled scraps of paper that construct an environment at once alien and strangely akin to the surrounding landscape.

This landscape of virgin and recycled trees represents an aesthetic and philosophical contradiction for the two artists. The harsh industrial landscape holds the promise of creative re-use of limited resources, as mountains of baled paper scraps wait to be turned back into products that will re-enter the marketplace.

Willis and Young have said of their method: “Searching through the random placement of paper, the variety of images continues to amaze us on formal and conceptual terms. Juxtapositions of imagery reveal individual and cultural voices of the past, whispering, calling out, and validating memory.”

This exhibition is curated by Amy Montali of the RIC art faculty.

The work in the exhibition is funded in part by Individual Artists Fellowships from the Vermont Arts Council, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and the Vermont Arts Endowment Fund. For more information on these artists, visit the Bannister Gallery Web site.

The gallery is open during exhibits on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, noon to 8 p.m., or by appointment with the gallery director. Closed Mondays, weekends and holidays. Exhibits and events are free and open to the public. Accessible to persons with disabilities. For information on event dates and exhibit opening receptions, check the website at www.ric.edu/Bannister or call (401) 456-9765.