Feature Photo: Nature Revealed

Vida Weisblum, Managing editor

Through Nov. 8, the gallery at Firelands Association for the Visual Arts will display papercut art by regional artist Julie Friedman. Founded in 1979, the nonprofit organization located in the heart of Oberlin strives to enhance accessibility to the visual arts by holding various art exhibitions and community programming. Friedman, a graduate of Kent State University, studied under book artist Walter Hamady while pursuing a Master’s of Fine Arts from the University of Wisconsin and now focuses on creating paper media works such as printmaking, book arts, papercuts and drawing. Interested in the interaction between natural surroundings and man-made structures, the artist cuts away the background of her pieces — what she calls the “negatives” — to create her images, which are often flowers, trees, birds and fish. “My material is Tyvek, and my tool is an X-acto knife,” Friedman said in her artist statement. Friedman said that she incorporates elements of surrealism and magical realism into her work by skewing depictions of reality; for instance, she sometimes uses unrealistic scale.