Peace Paper Project Event Coming to Cedar Crest College


ALLENTOWN, PA – March 12, 2015  – The ancient tradition of papermaking gets a new spin, literally, when Peace Paper Project brings its Pedal Power Program to Cedar Crest College later this month. The organization will explore papermaking as a form of public intervention, art therapy, and a socially engaged art practice during a three-day visit to the Allentown campus.

The portable art studio will visit the campus March 24 – 26 for three days of papermaking workshops and studios, hands-on demonstrations, and an artist talk with founders Drew Matott and Margaret Mahan. The visit will culminate with a reception at the Allentown Art Museum of the Lehigh Valley on Thursday night at 6:30 p.m. featuring a talk by Matott and Mahan, and an exhibit of paper samples made the previous two days.

Peace Paper Project uses the ancient tradition of papermaking by hand as a vehicle for personal expression and cultural change. Described as the intersection between art as a social action and art therapy, the process of making paper is a direct manifestation of resilience, as it requires breaking something down, such as fabric or plant material, in order to create something new and beautiful. Depending on the fiber that is being processed, as well as the energy of the cyclist, it can take a few minutes or an hour to break down the material.

Central to the Peace Paper Project’s Pedal Power Program is The Oracle, a unique Hollander beater with its collapsible basin and lightweight parts that make it portable. It operates using a stationary bicycle as its power source by connecting a pulley that would typically be attached to the motor to the back wheel of a bicycle. When the rider pedals the bike, the back wheel spins and engages the beater pulley, which turns the bladed roll at the core of the beater.

“As an artist who uses papermaking in my studio practice, I have known about the Peace Paper Project for a number of years. Over the past few years I have focused more of my teaching attention and art practice toward community engagement through art,” said Jill Odegaard, Art Professor and Chair of Cedar Crest’s Art Department. “Hosting this project is an excellent outreach initiative as we invite the community at large to campus for hands-on studio experiences that lend themselves to image making, dialogue, and creative reflection as we create images based on the theme of ‘Renewal.’ The Art Department faculty suggested this as a theme so participants can access image making from a place that feels right to them – be it renewal from a personal, environmental, or political perspective.”

The visit is a joint effort of the college’s art and psychology departments in cooperation with the Art Museum. The entire three-day event is free and open to the public to attend and participate in. The schedule is as follows:

  • Tuesday, March 24 – artist talk by Matott and Mahan in Tompkins College Center’s Alcove C at noon; papermaking workshops and studio in Hartzel Hall from 10 a.m. – 1 pm and 2 – 5 p.m.
  • Wednesday, March 25 – papermaking workshops and studio all day in Hartzel Hall from 10 a.m. – 1 pm and 2 – 5 p.m.
  • Thursday, March 26 – papermaking workshops from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.; papermaking studio in Hartzel Hall from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. and 2 – 4 p.m. Allentown Art Museum reception and artist talk at 6:30 p.m. at the Museum.

“This collaboration with Cedar Crest College and the Peace Paper Project is part of our ongoing effort to partner with the many institutions of higher learning in the Lehigh Valley,” said Julia Marsh, Curator of Community Engagement at the Art Museum. “More specifically, hosting the lecture here on one of our free-admission Thursday evenings fits our goal of being a center of discourse related to art making and related social issues.”

Undergraduate and graduate students in Cedar Crest’s Art Therapy Department will also be involved since the act of papermaking provides people affected by trauma with a means to process memories and emotion through symbolic expression. The process uses specific steps and ends in the making of something of meaning, which is valuable in trauma therapy. The steps provide containment, permission to safely share experiences, and opportunities to let go and create new paths towards healing and transformation. To see examples of papermaking artwork, and for additional details on Peace Paper Project, visit


Located in Allentown, Pa., Cedar Crest College was selected as a “Top Regional College” and “Best Value” in U.S. News and World Report’s Best Colleges rankings for 2012, 2013 and 2014. The liberal arts college is committed to the education of women leaders in an increasingly global society. Founded in 1867, Cedar Crest currently enrolls approximately 1,500 students—full-time, part-time and graduate—in more than 30 fields of study. Cedar Crest also provides opportunities for non-traditional and graduate students through its co-educational School of Adult and Graduate Education (SAGE). For more information, visit


Information Provided By:
Tracey Werner, Blabbermouth Communications