Indiana State Museum program brings paper to life

By Shelby Mullis 

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana State Museum’s latest exhibit explores the world of paper as it comes alive through the stroke of a paint brush, a pencil and other mediums.

“Pulp: Works on Paper” features 26 Hoosier artists.

The Indiana State Museum’s new exhibit, Pulp: Works on Paper, explores the realm of artists’ choices to use paper as a medium. Twenty-six Hoosier artists are featured in the exhibit, which is opened through June 18. Photo by Shelby Mullis,

Each of the featured artists’ works are completed on what most people know as the thin, white, rectangular sheets that people around the world use every day.

“I saw it as an opportunity to tell the story,” said Mark Rucshman, the museum’s chief curator of fine arts. “We certainly could have just put the work up, put a label up with the title of the work and the date and the usual stuff. For me, it was about more than that. It was about telling that unique story and giving people the insight as to why artists choose to work on paper, how they work on paper and the variety of opportunities out there by doing so.”

When visitors first enter the exhibit, they’re introduced to Casey Robert’s “First There’s Birth, then There’s Death: Number Two,” which is a part of a series completed on Rives BFK paper, made with 100 percent cotton.

Ruschman said what makes this paper different from others is its soft, bright white, smooth surface.

Another artist featured in the exhibit is Kathryn Clark, of Brookston. Best known for her handmade paper shop, Twinrocker Handmade Paper, Clark creates her own paper as a part of her artistic process.

“She comes at it from a little different approach,” Ruschman said. “The surface and the treatment of the surface is all done through the creation of the handmade paper process. Once that piece is done, then she starts to apply drawings, objects, collage works and other things to the surface of it.”

Along with the art displays is an interactive feature, which provides a space for visitors to create their own art using paper of their choice. The paper ranges from hot press to rough textures.

The exhibit opened to the public Saturday and Ruschman said the feedback has been very positive.

Hoosiers can visit the exhibit through June 8. Tickets are $13 for adults and can be purchased online through the museum’s website.

Shelby Mullis is a reporter for, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.

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