Reynolda House Introduces “Page Laughlin Paper Dolls: The Labor Series”

Reynolda House Museum of American Art announces the August 26, 2022, opening of Page Laughlin Paper Dolls: The Labor Series. The genesis of the project came to Winston-Salem-based artist Page Laughlin during contemplative walks through Reynolda House and grounds, and was inspired by the three generations of Reynolds women who created it—and by all women who carry us forward. The exhibition will be on display in the West Bedroom Gallery through December 31.

For the Paper Dolls series, Laughlin created digital images of young women engaged in traditional acts of manual labor: carrying, digging and watering. She then transformed the digital images into drawings to which she alternately added and removed oil paint, creating large, lush and layered works on paper. Laughlin prefers to work on paper, rather than canvas, and to hang the pieces in a way that they appear to float so that they, as the artist describes, “have breath behind them.”

“I am interested in how we are defined by and through the ‘things we carry’—the physical, psychological and social markers of who we are,” said Laughlin. “I portray women in young adulthood, when we shift from being carried to having to carry. I am interested in the distance between what we pick up and what we must accomplish.”

Laughlin is a project-based artist whose work spans painting, alternative media drawing, site specific and community-engagement projects. She has exhibited widely in galleries, museums and nonprofit exhibition spaces throughout the United States. Her artwork has been selected for more than 40 competitive exhibitions, including 11 museum exhibitions, 10 solo exhibitions or installations and six published color exhibition catalogues. In 2019, her Community Coloring Book project and exhibition was sponsored by CAS Laundry King Project Space in the Mid-Hudson region in New York (related community engagement work spanned 2019-21). Notably, in 2013, she was featured in a two-person exhibit, “Dwelling,” at the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh.

Her work was a feature article in the May 2007 issue of Traditional Home Magazine, with national and international distribution of more than two million readers. In 2011, her Hidden Worlds series was featured in a solo show at the Dishman Art Museum in Beaumont, Texas. Laughlin’s project grants include the New Forms Regional Artist Project Grant in Atlanta, the North Carolina Artist Project Grant and the Percent for Art Program. She has been awarded a North Carolina Art Fellowship, and in 2007 she was a nominee for USA Artist Fellowship. Her Residency Fellowships include the Headlands Center for Art in Marin County, California; the Virginia Center for Creative Arts; and the ON::View Residency in Savannah, Georgia. Her work is in numerous private and public collections throughout the United States, including the American University Museum at the Katzen Art Center and the North Carolina Museum of Art. Laughlin has a Master of Fine Arts in Painting from the Rhode Island School of Design. She is currently a Research Professor of Art at Wake Forest University.

August 17, 2022
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