On Monday, November 7, the Art Collections Department will host a panel discussion that brings together east and west coast artists to talk about the art of papercuts. Papercutting is a centuries-old, cross-cultural art form that remains vibrant and relevant today. Practiced by artists from Kabul to Mexico to China to Los Angeles, papercutting is an artistic language that uses humor, satire, and elegance to engage with contemporary politics, cultural traditions, and the wonder and strangeness of our external and interior worlds. This panel accompanies the exhibition Geometric Aljamía, currently on view in the Henley Galleria, 2nd floor Argyros Forum.

This event will take place on Monday, November 7, from 6 – 7:30pm in the Bush Conference Center, Beckman Hall, Room 404. This program is free and open to all, and no RSVP is required.

Stay tuned for a feature on each panelist, that we will release every week leading up to the panel event on November 7!



Jorge Benitez, Courtyard, graphite on arches paper, 2013

Jorge Benitez, Courtyard, 2013

Jorge Benitez is an Assistant Professor in the Communications Arts Department at Virginia Commonwealth University. He holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in painting from Virginia Commonwealth University where he currently teaches drawing, art theory and the history of visual communications. His theoretical interests derive from an earlier career in advertising as well as his fluency in French and Spanish. He developed an interest in the conflict between words and images in the 1990s when Americans began to describe their national divisions as a “culture war.” He currently participates in regional and international exhibitions, and his work is represented in corporate collections and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. His work can be seen at Chapman in the exhibition Geometric Aljamía, Argyros Forum.


Reni Gower, Papercuts: White/malachite, Acyrlic on hand cut paper 86½" x 56¼", 2014

Reni Gower, Papercuts: White/malachite, 2014

Reni Gower is a Professor in the Painting and Printmaking Department at Virginia Commonwealth University. Her art work has been showcased at international and national venues for over 30 years. In addition to her teaching and painting practice, she curates award winning traveling exhibitions. Several of her projects that are currently traveling include FABRICation since September 2013, Heated Exchange since 2012 and Papercuts since 2011. She is the recipient of numerous grants including a NEA / SECCA Southeastern Artist Fellowship and Virginia Commission for the Arts Project Grants. Her work is represented in various collections including the Library of Congress Print Collection, Pleasant Company / Mattel, Inc., the American Embassies in Lima, Peru and Osaka, Japan, Media General, Inc., and the Federal Reserve Bank. She holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from Syracuse University, a Master of Arts degree from University of Minnesota-Duluth, and a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her work can be seen at Chapman in the exhibition Geometric Aljamía, Argyros Forum.


Bovey Lee, The Gymnast (detail 3) 26x18.5”, 2015

Bovey Lee, The Gymnast (detail 3) 26×18.5”, 2015

Bovey Lee was born in Hong Kong and from childhood studied the traditional arts of China. She holds two MFAs – one from the University of California, Berkeley, and a second in computer graphics and interactive media from Pratt Institute in New York. Now based in L.A., she exhibits internationally and is widely published. Her work is included in the Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology, Oxford University, UK; BNY Mellon Corporate Art Collection; The Chinese University of Hong Kong; Fidelity Corporate Art Collection; Christian Dior, Paris, France; Headland Capital Partners, Greater China & Asia; Hong Kong Museum of Art; Pacific Asia Museum, Pasadena, California; Park Hyatt Sanya, China; San Francisco General Hospital, California; and Progressive Corporate Art Collection.


Chris Natrop, Between Light and Half Light, watercolor, glitter, aluminum powder on hand cut paper, tape, string, color window clings, 2016

Chris Natrop, Between Light and Half Light, 2016

Chris Natrop is a nationally and internationally exhibited artist who explores papercut as a meditation. Executed free form and exclusively with a knife, his work has evolved into a stream-of-consciousness drawing technique that allows for the discovery of imagery that surfaces as interconnected landscapes. Removing papercuts from their traditional two-dimensions, Natrop uses light and projected motion graphics to create three-dimensional, immersive environments from papercuts and fabricated objects. Natrop holds a В.F.A from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. His work is included in Chapman University’s Escalette Permanent Collection of Art.

Margaret Sosa, Ace Hotel Wedding, papel picado

Margaret Sosa, Ace Hotel Wedding, papel picado

Margaret Sosa has been working as a papercutter in the Mexican style known as papel picado for over 30 years. She learned the art form from master papercutter, Olga Ponce Furginson, serving as her apprentice for many years. To further her skills, she traveled with Olga to Mexico to meet Mexican papel picado artists. Margaret has received countless commissions for her work and several master artist grants to teach papel picado. Working with community centers such as Self Help Graphics, Ave 50 Studio and Plaza De La Raza, she has taught children and adults of all ages. Margaret’s work has been exhibited galleries and museums throughout the Los Angeles area and as far away as Glasgow, Scotland. Margaret is a graduate of California State University, Los Angeles, where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in studio art. Margaret lives in Los Angeles with her husband, she has five children and ten grandchildren.


Please contact Esther Shin at artcollections@chapman.edu or 714-628-2832 for more information.

Funding for this program was generously provided by the Escalette Endowment and the Chapman University Art Collections.

We are grateful to the Escalette Permanent Art Collection Endowment for generously supporting this program.

Featured Image: Reni Gower, Papercuts: White/malachite (detail), Acrylic on hand cut paper2014