Friday, March 18, 2016


KBAC-Hiebert-Print-Fertilize.jpg: Fertilize © Helen Hiebert
KBAC-Hiebert-Print-Pop-UP-Hand-Shadow.jpg: Pop-UP Hand Shadow Book © Helen Hiebert

The Secret Life of Paper: 25 Years of Works in Paper by Helen Hiebert
April 8 – 29, 2016

Artist Talk: Wed, April 6, 5:30 – 7 p.m. at Western Michigan University, Frostic School of Art, Richmond Center for Visual Arts, Room 2008

Artist Reception: Fri, April 8, 6 – 9 p.m. at KBAC

Workshop: Innovations in Paper Weaving: Sat, April 9, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. at KBAC

Location: Kalamazoo Book Arts Center (KBAC), 326 W. Kalamazoo Ave. Suite 103A, Kalamazoo, MI 49007

Gallery Hours: Monday – Friday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.


Sponsored by the KBAC, the Southwest Michigan Paper Guild, Western Michigan University Visiting Scholars and Artists Program, and Friends of WMU Libraries.

Helen Hiebert – A 25 Year Retrospective

Helen Hiebert discovered paper as an art medium in 1991, when she interned at Dieu Donné Papermill in New York City.

The highlight of Hiebert’s exhibition at the Kalamazoo Book Arts Center is a repertoire of artist’s books, a collection of artworks that focus on the intriguing properties of abaca, a fiber that she has been investigating for 20-plus years of working in the medium, and has illustrated in a film, Water Paper Time, that documents the properties of abaca through time-lapse imagery.

Hiebert tells us: “My work examines the intangible and the ethereal, the magical and the mysterious, in a visual format. Working like a scientist, I conduct experiments with paper pulp. I initiate a deliberate action—embedding a string between two wet sheets, cutting a hole in or nailing a wet sheet to the wall—to interrupt the papermaking process and irrevocably alter the sheet of paper. But unlike a scientist, who sets out to break nature down into its component parts to analyze the relationship of those parts, as an artist, I juxtapose different features of reality and synthesize them, so that upon completion, the whole work is greater than the sum of its parts.”

View the film trailer at:

From a studio in a mountain-town schoolhouse in the heart of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains, Helen Hiebert constructs installations, sculptures, films, artists’ books, and works in paper using handmade paper as her primary medium. She is the author of five books including The Papermaker’s Companion, Playing with Pop-Ups, and Playing with Paper. She has taught all over the world at venues such as the PapierWespe in Austria, Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina, Dieu Donné Papermill in New York, and Minnesota Center for Book Arts. Hiebert has served on the boards of the International Association of Hand Papermakers and Paper Artists and Hand Papermaking Magazine. You can view her work at or read her weekly blog, The Sunday Paper at

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