Pulped under Pressure


With traditional hand papermaking at its core, Pulped Under Pressure underscores important contemporary issues steeped in history and craft. Enticed through touch, these works encourage a contemplative slowing down even as they urge acknowledgement of some of the most pressing issues (environmental crisis to global marginalization) facing civilization today. Each of the artists, Jillian Bruschera, Julia Goodman, Reni Gower, Trisha Oralie Martin, Melissa Potter, Marilyn Propp, Maggie Puckett, starts simply with a foundation of pulp made from natural fibers. Their multifaceted results incorporate a rich range of printmaking, letterpress, papercutting, and installation with a diversity of recycled disposable materials (junk mail, egg cartons, old cotton t-shirts, ripped denim jeans) as well as old bedsheets, beetroot, heirloom plants, and illuminated el wires. In very unique ways, these artists consider paper beyond its most common function as a passive surface of record or craft. Instead, the material is transformed and imbedded with content that turns communication into a public practice. By challenging assumptions, the artists of Pulped Under Pressure create artworks that are both beautiful and brave.


Jillian Bruschera, Julia Goodman, Reni Gower, Trisha Oralie Martin, Melissa Potter, Marilyn Propp, Maggie Puckett

Exhibition co-curated by Reni Gower & Melissa Potter


In-Person Reception

Friday, August 4, 2023,  6:00-8:00pm EST



FREE Virtual Artist Talks


Headshots of Reni Gower, a middle aged Caucasian woman with grey ear-length hair standing in front of a mosaic wall of blue, white, turquoise and yellow tiles.  Headshot of Melissa Potter, a Caucasian woman with straight shoulder length sandy blonde hair dressed in a taupe top with navy and white patterns. A third headshot  shows Maggie Puckett, a Caucasian woman with chin-length, curly blonde hair wearing dangling earrings and a blue blazer.

Tuesday, May 30, 2023,  8:00-9:00pm EST

In the first of three virtual artists talks for Pulped Under Pressure we hear from the co-curators Reni Gower and Melissa Potter. We also learn about Seeds InService: A Papermaking Institute, an ecofeminist, socially-engaged art practice by Maggie Puckett and Melissa Potter that supports self-determining communities through heirloom seed management, thematic gardening, and hand papermaking arts activism.

Watch the recording


Headshot of Julia Goodman, a Caucasian woman with light brown shoulder length hair wearing a short sleeved denim button up shirt with handmade paper artwork of various shades of green behind her . Next to Julia's headshot is Trisha Oralie Martin's headshot. She is a Filipino woman with dark straight hair and glasses smiling out toward the audience in a white button up shirt.

Wednesday, June 14, 2023,  8:00-9:00pm EST

In the second of three Pulped Under Pressure virtual artists talks for we hear from Julia Goodman (based in Oakland) and Trisha Oralie Martin (based in Chicago) discussing how social memory and cultural identity play a major role in each of their works. 

Watch the recording


Headshot of artist, Jillian Bruschera, a gender non-conforming person smiling at the camera wearing a black baseball cap that says Easy Does It in white letters, a black kerchief around their neck, and the white straps to an apron just barely visible over a black shirt. A banner with MM for Mobile Mill and a critter beater in the background. To the right of Jillian's headshot is Marilyn Propp's headshot. She is a middle aged Caucasian woman with glasses, short silver hair, wearing a black t-shirt under a plaid button up shirt. She sits in front of a close up of one of her artworks that feature block printed images of gears and pipes collaged onto handmade paper in tones of purple and green.

Wednesday, July 12, 2023,  8:00-9:00pm EST

In the third and final virtual artists talks for Pulped Under Pressure we hear from Jillian Bruschera (based in California) and Marilyn Propp (based in Chicago) as each discusses references to the impact, implications, and consequences of waste in their works. 

Watch the recording


Five artworks on a black wall at the entry into the gallery. First image looks like a woven rug, the second image is a small brown sheet of paper with a portrait printed on it and next to that are abstract pieces made from recycled paper. The last image is a mosaic geometric design.

A table with a decorative dress and printed pieces of paper, with three maps behind it. Two of the pieces of paper are old packages labled "Min's Lettuce Mix" and "Vincent Queen Sunflower." To the right of the packages is a fine, black, ceremonial shirt in a Hispanic style. To the right of the shirt are two coffin-shaped advertisement paper titled "Food Sex & Death."

The first two pieces of paper. One has the words "WHEN CAN AN -ED NOT BE THROUGH" on mottled, grey paper with something pink in the paper. The next piece of paper is white with a grey, lined pattern on the interior.

A fanned-open book with homemade, multicolor paper and child-like drawings on each page

The front and left sides of the back room. On the far left is a piece of paper with a patterned design, colored grey on the outside and a red diamond shape on the inside. Behind this pieces are three-dimensional, multi-color pieces of paper, One the back wall are three marbled pieces of paper.

Three large-multi-color pieces of paper with bold, abstract designs. Purple, red, black, green, and white are the primary colors.

Front left corner of first room. On one wall there are two pieces of paper with patterns and inlaid cords. Next to the other wall are two tables with various cultural and historical paper pieces and artifacts.

The next table in the front left of the first room. This table has an old paper envelope advertising "Black Aztec Corn." In the front of the table are five pieces of multicolor corn. In the back are six papers with stylized portraits of women with handkerchiefs covering their lower faces. Above the table are three pieces of paper displaying a map of the Americas, sideways, and centered on the area of Aztec, Mexico.

The other four pieces of paper. The first two are made out of carboard. One says "WILL A GOES ALWAYS GO?" the next is torn and taped, the next says "WHAT DOES A DOES DO?" the last piece has a whole in it with scissors drawn on the cut.

A handmade accordion book with pockets full of paper samples with various inlaid seeds.

Four framed sheets of paper. Each has a unique design of white lines above pink or blue paper.

Seven white pieces of paper with various names and patterns embossed in fancy scripts.

Two framed pieces of decorative paper. The first has cord inlaid in the paper, in the shape of a circle with two triangles on opposite sides. This paper also has eight designs of four triangles pointing together. The next piece of paper has a cord inlaid into a rectangular shape with loops at the corners. Inside the rectangle are three lines of red triangles pointing inwards on two sides. In the middle are four white line stars.

The back left corner of the first room. In the bottom corner is a tall stack of paper bricks. Above it are six pieces of recycled, abstractly designed paper.

Copies of "An Illuminated Feminist Seed Bank" and "Pulped Under Pressure."

The right wall of the first room, leading into the back room. The wall is covered in sheets of black and white patterned paper cut and pasted together.

The left wall has 8 figure eight pieces of paper with aquatic scenes featuring turtles. In the middle of the room in a display case is a collection of red marbled sheets.

A portfolio of colored fabric sheets. The sheets are mostly red-pink colored in a watermark style of marbling.