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Extra! Extra! Can art save newspapers?

Posted by Delia Cabe  August 20, 2010 01:51 PM

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Enough with the experts and pundits debating the virtue of printed vs. online newspapers. Enough with discussions of paywalls, digital news hubs, readers’ online habits and advertising revenue. I’m no web guru or news industry consultant. Here’s the real argument for print journalism: Art. There. I said it.

Artists need newspapers. Plain and simple. I’ve seen the trend. Poke around any gallery, artists’ cooperative or ordinary store, and you will find a cottage industry—in one case, literally—of artists and crafty types who use newspapers in their work. Think of it: You can support artists AND save the newspaper industry in one fell swoop. Take a look at some of these examples of artistic recycling.

Street & Gallery Installations
In Seoul, there’s a street installation aptly titled, Newspaper Man, by Mark Jenkins:
Artist Sumer Erek has built houses from rolled up newspapers. Passersby are invited to roll up newspapers and add them to the structure. The one below is an installation in London.
Newspaper House.jpg
But why stop at just building a house? Paper a town with newspapers, as this ad suggests for the free Metro newspapers. (If you want to do your part for the newspaper industry, however, buy newspapers to carry this idea out.):

Metro Newspaper from Felipe Vellasco on Vimeo.

New York artist Nick Georgiu, inspired by the death of the printed word has made sculptures and framed art of of old newspapers. One is a life-sized dog. The Arizona native also does 3-D framed works, such as The Saguaro’s Blossom.

Newspapers in the Home
Even clothing designers have jumped on the newspaper bandwagon. Among them is Project Runway designer Irina Shabayeva, who, in 2009, took her winning designs from the headlines. Below is a newspaper coat:
Beyond the galleries, newspaper art meets commerce.
I spotted this item at the store Anthropologie. It’s taxidermy for vegetarians.
Zebra at anthropologie.jpg
On Etsy, crafters sell numerous objets d’art that you can use and read.
Up-cycled Red Vintage Suitcase ($175) by Junebyw
Newspaper suitcase.jpg
Coco Handbag ($70) by Couture Planet™
The handbags and clutches are made from the New York Times and Boston Globe, “many coming directly from guestrooms at The Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel.”
Messenger bag ($70) by ReclaimedWreckage
Newspaper Messenger Bag.jpg
Caught the knitting bug? Then newspaper yarn is for you.
The blog GreenUpgrader features instructions on how to make the yarn.

And if my modest proposal fails to rescue newspaper industry, here's what artist Jason Eppink did with those ubiquitous newspaper boxes on the streets:

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About the author

Delia Cabe's work has appeared in The Boston Globe Magazine, Boston Magazine, Self, Prevention, Scientific American Presents, and other publications. In between posts, you can read Cabe's tweets at!/DeliaCabe, More »

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