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Paper has long been part of Longview’s economic bread and butter. But for the next four weeks, Lower Columbia CAP is presenting paper in a new light: as art.

From cut-up collages of biblical figures to a modern papyrus painting, the “Paper Arts” exhibit features collages, albums, hand-made greeting cards and more from local and global artists.

CAP will hold a reception from 2 to 3 p.m. Wednesday at its Alcove Gallery, located in the CAP building at 1526 Commerce Ave. in Longview. Refreshments will be served. The show, which is free, will be on display through July 18.

Some works explore three dimensions, such as in cards by Yolanda Brackman, Heidi Bishop, Lisa Clark and Paper Craft Addiction owner Sheila Girt. Collages by gallery director Catherine Walquist, Craig Clark and Dorothy Allen use sharp angles and vibrant colors to create striking, geometric pieces.

The global paper art on display was collected by retired LCC art history instructor Yvette O’Neill Raynham. In between art history teaching assignments, Raynham traveled the world and saw how different cultures created art.

"I like folk art — art by the people,” O’Neill Raynham said. “It feels direct, honest, unique to the culture. ... I got to see some guys along the Nile pounding papyrus, people in villages in Mexico pounding fig bark.”

Pieces from Raynham’s collection highlight the diverse uses of paper from around the world and includes brief histories. Included are a modern Egyptian papyrus painting, a print of a Mexican amate paper originally made of local fiber in pre-Columbian times and samples of modern Chinese paper cutting based on the origins of paper in China around A.D. 25-220. There are also samples of elaborate Polish paper cutting known as Wycinanki, which are vibrant pictures and patterns made by assembling cut-up pieces of paper.

Japanese artist Masami Kusakabe, originally of Kobe, has some of her traditional Japanese paper art on display at the gallery. The technique, called Oshi-e, uses paper, cotton and glue to create layered and textured art. Now a resident of Southwest Washington, she uses the art to remember her childhood in Japan, according to her artist profile on The Broadway Gallery.

“I had not known much about paper craft in Longview as it’s practiced by contemporary crafters in town,” O’Neill Raynham said. “I was blown away by the things Lisa (Clark) showed me.”

The exhibit is part of the gallery’s rotating monthly exhibits that are displayed in a small nook inside the community arts workshop. Like other presentations at the workshop, Paper Arts includes works from local artists made in and out of the workshop.

The show is open from noon to 3:30 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays.

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